‘China’s built 13 military positions since Doklam’ | India News

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NEW DELHI: It’s well-established that the multiple incursions into eastern Ladakh in May came after months of planning and approval by the top political hierarchy in Beijing. Now, a report says China began constructing at least 13 new military positions right after the Doklam face-off with India in 2017.
Stratfor, a US-based global security and intelligence consultancy platform, said China began building three airbases, five permanent air defence positions and five heliports as part of a larger strategy. Construction on four of the heliports started only after the onset of the current Ladakh crisis in May, added the report, based on satellite imagery and other inputs.
‘China doubled airbases near border in 3 yrs’
The Doklam crisis appears to have shifted China’s strategic objectives, with China more than doubling its total number of airbases, air defence positions, and heliports near the Indian border over the past three years,” said the report released on Tuesday.
As earlier reported by TOI, though the 73-day military confrontation in the Bhutanese territory of Doklam near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction in 2017 was resolved after diplomatic parleys, the fallout has been that PLA has constructed military infrastructure and helipads and permanently stationed troops in north Doklam. Incensed at the way Indian troops had physically blocked the attempt by the PLA to extend the existing motorable road towards the Jampheri Ridge in south Doklam, China also probably began preparing for the Ladakh incursions soon after.
TOI has been reporting the way PLA has furiously built infrastructure close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), while also augmenting the capacity of its airbases at Hotan and Kashgar (Xinjiang), Gargunsa, Lhasa-Gonggar and Shigatse (Tibet) and deploying more fighters there.
The PLA has even laid optical fibre cables for its troops at the face-off sites in Pangong Tso and Gogra-Hot Springs areas, amid the huge military build-ups with tanks, howitzers and surfaceto-air missile systems in the “depth areas” across the LAC.
The Stratfor report says China’s strategy along the LAC, which is similar to its approach in the contentious South China Sea, aims to confront India with “an insurmountable challenge in territorial disputes by leaning on broad support capabilities that provide Beijing with a tremendous ability to mobilise forces into disputed border areas. “The rapid expansion of permanent Chinese military infrastructure points to intentions that span a wider time-frame than current and recent border stand-offs,” it said.

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