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China winning LAC infra war against India? Here’s what latest reports indicate

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Although India and China have not faced off militarily in the four years since the infamous LAC flare-up that claimed lives on both sides, infrastructure building by the PLA has been going on at full tilt along the mountainous border, ToI reported on April 29.
The Chinese side has also continued to dual-use ‘Xiaokang’ villages, bolster military positions and deploy more fighter jets at its bases in LAC’s vicinity, the report by Rajat Pandit said.

Images from satellites, intelligence reports, and other inputs indicate that there is ongoing Chinese activity in all three sectors of the 3,488-km LAC, which stretches from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, defence and security establishment sources told the newspaper.

China, for example, has recently finished building a road from the northern part of Samzungling to the Galwan Valley. This road provides the PLA with a 15-km shorter alternative route to quickly deploy troops in the region.

A buffer zone without patrols was established around Patrolling Point-14 in Galwan Valley, three weeks after a violent confrontation where 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese troops lost their lives on June 15, 2020.

The Chinese army has been reportedly enhancing military and transportation facilities behind the buffer zones on both sides of Pangong Tso. This includes the Kailash range and Gogra-Hot Springs, all of which are predominantly located in regions that India claims as its own territory.The PLA has been concentrating on improving the last-mile connectivity by building roads, bridges, tunnels, and helipads to reach its forward positions. Additionally, they are constructing new bunkers, camps, underground shelters, artillery positions, radar sites, and ammunition dumps in other areas along the LAC.According to various reports, India has also continued to match China with “mirror military deployments”. The newspaper had reported earlier that the Indian side has also majorly shored up infrastructure and capability development along the frontier.

Significantly, China has cut down its disadvantages in likely air combat caused by high-altitude terrain limitations by deploying more fighters, bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, and drones. This was achieved by upgrading its airfields such as Hotan, Kashgar, Gargunsa, Shigatse, Bangda, Nyingchi, and Hoping with new and longer runways, reinforced shelters, and storage facilities for fuel and ammunition.

As per latest info cited by ToI, two new JH-7A fighter-bombers and three Y-20 heavy-lift aircraft, along with others, have been stationed at Hotan in Xinjiang. These are in addition to the almost 50 J-11 and J-7 fighters, five Y-8 and Y-7 transport aircraft, and KJ-500 AEW&C (airborne early-warning and control) aircraft stationed at the location.

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