- Chinese army building a bridge on the narrowest part of Pangong Lake
- PLA is strengthening the situation by building bridges and roads in its share
- With the construction of the bridge, the distance of 200 km will be reduced to only 40-50.
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is building a bridge on its territory on Pangong Tso Lake over Khornak, the narrowest part of the lake. A media report quoting sources said that this bridge is being constructed to counter any future Indian Army operations like August 2020. The Indian Army, while carrying out a special operation, captured the heights of Pangong Tso southern bank on the night of 29 and 30 August 2020.
The Print gave information about this in its report. The report, quoting sources, said that the bridge under construction will eliminate the 180 km distance between Khurnak to the southern coast. This means that the route from Khurnak to Rudok will now be only 40-50 kms as compared to around 200 kms earlier. The 135 km long Pangong Tso is a lake surrounded by a terrestrial boundary, part of which is in Ladakh and the rest in Tibet. In May 2020, tensions between India and China started in this area.
Lessons learned by China from August 2020
The report said the PLA has also begun the process of building a road to and from the bridge, which could become a new route for rapid deployment of troops and equipment if needed. It is believed that China has learned a lesson from India’s August 2020 action and that is why it is strengthening its preparations. China has taken several steps to ensure that its activities in the region can be rapidly scaled up and capacity for large-scale deployment can be increased.
Road being built to counter possible operation
The report, quoting sources, said that with the new construction, the PLA aims to create multiple routes to counter any possible operations by Indian troops on the southern flanks in future. In November, the Indian government told the Supreme Court that China had built a large area in Tibet and the army needed wide roads to move heavy vehicles to the India-China border to avoid a 1962-like war situation.
China’s presence increasing near Himachal
After Eastern Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, China is now continuously increasing its military presence in the areas adjoining the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Himachal Pradesh. In Himachal, along with expediting road construction, construction of bridges and helipads in Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts adjoining the LAC, military posts are also being built for the last one year. In its report submitted to Himachal Pradesh Governor Rajendra Arlekar, the state police has cited rapid build-up of troop and infrastructure along nine passes along the LAC in both the remote districts.
Himachal DGP Sanjay Kundu said on Friday, “The presence of the Chinese Army (PLA) has increased significantly in the last one year. China has also improved its infrastructure and surveillance capability along the border with Himachal. Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts share a 240 km border with China. This includes a stretch of 80 km from Chumar in Lahaul-Spiti and 160 km from Daroti to Mumri Dogri in Kinnaur.