Satellite images have captured an additional build-up of troops and equipment by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the Aksai Chin area. The Indian government has expedited weapons and troop deployment after making an assessment that PLA troops are preparing for a long and harsh winter in the Himalayas.
India has started deploying a squadron (12) of T-90 missile-firing tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and a full troop brigade (4,000 men) to Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) to prevent any possible Chinese incursion from the Shaksgam-Karakoram pass axis in the Ladakh region, as per military commanders quoted by the Indian news daily Hindustan Times.
The move has reportedly come after disengagement talks failed to topple the Chinese military build-up, wherein the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) deployed close to 50,000 troops in Aksai Chin.
— d-atis☠️ (@detresfa_) July 21, 2020
Since the bridges on the Darbuk-Shyok-DBO road cannot handle the weight of a 46-tonne T-90 tank, the missile firing tanks were deployed by fording the rivers and rivulets using specialised equipment. The army has also deployed infantry combat vehicles, US-made M-777 155mm howitzers, and 130 mm guns at multiple locations in eastern Ladakh which include DBO, Galwan, and Pangong Tso.
The satellite images have shown large concentrations of troops in the Tibet Autonomous Region and the use of possible tunnels to amass equipment, Indian news website ThePrint has claimed. The assessment of a new build-up has suggested that the People’s Liberation Army appears to be getting ready for a long and harsh winter.
Satellite images from 21 July by @detresfa shows a PLA build-up in Shiquanhe, Tibet. The fresh build-up includes about 5,000 troops and equipment. Helipads have also come up in the area, and fresh construction is going on.
Since the disengagement talks are nowhere near over, the Indian Army is matching the troop strength while keeping an eye on the PLA’s movement along the Line of Actual Control.
The military and diplomatic level talks since the violent face-off on 15 June, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed, has resulted in disengagement only in the Galwan Valley. Indian Army sources said that Beijing has not yet withdrawn its troops from either Pangong Tso or the Depsang Valley.
Chinese troops are almost 8 kilometres inside Indian territory in the Depsang Valley, as per government sources. India and China are in one of the longest border standoffs, which began in the last week of April after Beijing raised objections over infrastructure development by New Delhi along the loosely demarcated border.