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Ladakh Standoff: PLA troops continue building infrastructure along LAC

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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China's intension of disengaging from the troop confrontation in eastern Ladakh seems to be very meek as it appears to be further digging in its heels by continuing to build roads, bridges, helipads among other military infrastructure along the Line of Actual Control in its bid to cover for its troops along the LAC, the Times Now Digital reported on Sunday.

Officers said China is doing everything from building roads close to the LAC, augmenting the capacity of its airbases at Hotan and Kashgar in Xinjiang and Gargunsa, Lhasa-Gonggar and Shigatse in Tibet to laying optical fibre cables for its troops at faceoff sites in Pangong Tso and Gogra-Ho Spring areas. Rounds of diplomatic and military talks so far have failed to deescalate in the rival military build-up in Depsand PlainspDaulat Beg Oldie sector.

The military confrontation between India and China in eastern Ladakh has now lasted for more than 100 days.

"China is indulging in ping-pong tactics by shuttling the ball between diplomatic and military talks, without any serious attempt at conflict resolution," a senior military official told Times Now.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday held a two-hour-long meeting with NSA Ajit Doval, CDS Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs General MM Naravane, Admiral Karambir Singh and Air Chief Marshal BKS Bhadauria over the same.

India has counter-deployed to match the build-up of troops, artillery, tanks and other heavy weaponry by the PLA in all the three sectors of the 3,488-km long LAC stretching from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.

Several rounds of diplomatic and military talks have so far failed to break the deadlock in the stalled troop disengagement in Pangong Tso and Gogra as well as de-escalation in the rival military build-ups in the strategically-located Depsang PlainsDaulat Beg Oldie (DBO) sector.

China opposes unilateral actions that complicate Kashmir situation

Meanwhile, China has told Pakistan it opposes any "unilateral" action that complicates the situation in Kashmir, after Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi briefed his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi of his country's concerns regarding the situation in Kashmir, the Hindustan Times reported on Friday.

The Kashmir issue, as was widely anticipated, figured in the second strategic dialogue of the Chinese and Pakistani foreign ministers in the southern province of Hainan on Friday. Qureshi arrived in China on Thursday for the talks against the backdrop of the India-China border standoff.

"The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the situation in Jammu & Kashmir, including its concerns, position and current urgent issues," said a joint statement issued at the end of the two-day strategic dialogue.

"The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir issue is a dispute left over from history between India and Pakistan, which is an objective fact, and that the dispute should be resolved peacefully and properly through the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements. China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation," it said.

China and Pakistan believe a "peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia was in common interest of all parties", the statement said. It added: "Parties need to settle disputes and issues in the region through dialogue on the basis of equality and mutual respect."

China had issued a similar statement immediately after India scrapped Kashmir's special status in August last year. Since then, it has sought to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council on Pakistan's behalf several times, but without much success.

According to the joint statement, both sides also "agreed on continuing their firm support on issues concerning each other's core national interests".

Pakistan's territorial integrity

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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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