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China-India border tensions intensify as PLA builds fortifications in disputed territory

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India-China border tensions could turn to conflict as Chinese PLA soldiers have built scores of fortifications, prefabricated huts, bunkers and pill-boxes after occupying the 'Finger-4 to 8' area on the north bank of Pangong Lake, according to Eurasia Times.

Tensions between China and India have grown since deadly clashes two weeks ago in the Galwan Valley between Indian-controlled Ladakh and Chinese-controlled Aksai Chin. The Indian Army said 20 of its soldiers were killed in hand-to-hand combat with Chinese soldiers. Both countries have accused each other of causing the skirmish and of breaking promises.

India-China border tensions do not seem to have eased out despite commander-level meetings. After occupying a nearly 8-km stretch of India territory on the north bank of Pangong lake, the Chinese PLA troops have created a massive signage in the area to claim the region as their land, the Times of India reported Wednesday.

The TOI report says that the 80-metre-long signage is in the shape of inscriptions and is designed to be noticeable from the air and even capable of being detected by satellites. It comprises of the Mandarin symbol meaning China with a map of the country.

"It clearly shows the Chinese PLA troops have no intention of leaving the area any time soon. We, too, have counter-mobilized with additional Army and ITBP troops in the area since May for any eventuality. We want restoration of status quo ante, with the PLA pulling back to its original position," TOI quoted an Indian official as saying.

PLA soldiers have built scores of fortifications, prefabricated huts, bunkers and pill-boxes after occupying the 'Finger-4 to 8' area on the north bank of Pangong Lake in an extensive build-up since early May. They have also taken control of the nearby heights and ridgeline to dominate the area, says the TOI report.

The Chinese PLA soldiers, which has also boosted its positions on the south bank of the lake, wants Indian soldiers to retreat to the Finger-2 area. Ever since the deadly India-China border, Chinese soldiers have effectively blocked all Indian patrols from the Finger-4 to 8 area.

Meanwhile, as Hindustan Times reported, the Indian Army has deployed six T-90 tanks and anti-tank missile systems in the Galwan Valley sector indication that New Delhi is prepared for the worst-case scenario.

India has deployed Israeli SPYDER Missile along with the homemade Akash surface-to-air missile (SAM) with a range of 30 km as part of strategic planning for a double-layer tactic to guard critical resources and locations in the country.

Akash is India's indigenously developed surface-to-air missile that can engage multiple targets from various directions. The all-weather missile can engage targets at a speed 2.5 times more than the speed of sound and can detect, track and destroy targets flying at low, medium and high altitudes.

Chinese strategists warn Beijing: Prepare for India border row to escalate

Meanwhile, Chinese military strategists have called on Beijing to be better prepared for an escalation in its border dispute with India, saying the potential for armed conflict between the two nuclear powers is on the rise, says Cathrine Wonge of South China Morning News.

A number of retired members of the Chinese military are calling for Beijing to prepare for further escalation, including granting its frontline troops more power to respond to an "intrusion" by Indian forces and deploying non-lethal hi-tech weapons such as laser guns along the border.

Qiao Liang, a retired air force major general and military theorist, said that while the possibility of an all-out war between the two countries remained low, China needed to prepare for an escalation into an armed conflict. "We should not overestimate India's response, but we must also not let our guard down," Qiao said in an article posted on his WeChat account.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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