Chinese army has started consolidating its positions in the Pangong Tso area amid soaring tensions between India and China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, Indian Express has reported.
The newspaper report says that the Chinese are constructing a helipad at Finger 4 and has increased troops on the southern banks of Pangong Tso. This has led to apprehensions that the Chinese are asserting their claims and conveying their disinclination for the restoration of status quo ante in the area.
The Indian Express while quoting an unnamed official reported, “It is correct that the Chinese have started consolidating their positions on the north bank of Pangong Tso lake. There is a helipad that is now being constructed in the Finger 4 area, which is in addition to all the other infrastructure construction done by them in the past eight weeks or so.”
PLA patrols are now regularly making small forays down the ridge of Finger 3 towards the bank of the lake and then returning to the ridge. They are essentially asking us to move back to Finger 2,” the official said.
A second official said this meant that “the Chinese are telling us that they have no intention of going back or restoring the status quo as in April.
“We are also deployed in adequate strength but there are certain tactical restrictions imposed by the local terrain which we are cognisant of. Let me just say it is a challenging area for us,” the unnamed official was quoted as saying by the National newspaper.
Pangong Tso and its northern bank have been a territory of contention between the two sides but before the current tensions arose, the Chinese had a permanent base at Finger 8. They have now deployed themselves eight kilometres to the west, at Finger 4 where they have also constructed shelters, pillboxes, bunkers and other infrastructure both on the bank and the ridgeline.
The Fingers are mountainous spurs jutting out from the ridge on the northern bank towards the lake.