India-China standoff: Beijing builds 5G infra along LAC, fresh construction at Pangong Tso

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As India and China continue to be in a border dispute deadlock, Beijing has started laying fibre optics cables and installing other equipment for fifth-generation wireless technology — commonly known as 5G — along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), reported Indo Asian News Service (IANS).

The intelligence agencies flagged that construction for 5G was noticed near Demchok area, one of the disputed sites at LAC, in the first week of August. The agencies noticed installation of equipment for new spectrum bandwidths, laying of fibre optics cables and the development of cellular transmission technology.

The report added that the agencies also alerted that fresh construction works were seen along the Pangong Lake despite China having stated they will move back. New huts and sheds have come up at Pangong Lake.

The India-China standoff is nearing four months after tensions broke out in early May. On 15 June, as many as 20 Indian army troopers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in a violent clash in the Galwan Valley. While initial disengagement took place in Galwan Valley and Patrol Point 15; Pangong Lake and Gogra-Hot Springs area also known as patrol point 17A remains volatile.

At Pangong Lake, China has strengthened its positions between Finger-5 and 8 and India is to take up this move very strongly, the agency stated.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has refused to pull back eastwards from the 8-km stretch it has occupied from Finger-4 to Finger-8 by building scores of new fortifications there since early May. The mountain spurs jutting into the lake are referred to as Fingers in military parlance.

As China is not moving back, several rounds of deliberations took place in Delhi to decide the future strategy. Recently, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat also said if talks fail India will think of military options.

Frequent meetings have been taking place in the security establishment to review the situation along LAC in Eastern Ladakh.

Intelligence agencies had also alerted that China has also mobilised soldiers near Uttarakhand’s Lipulekh Pass, a tri-junction between India, Nepal and China situated atop the Kalapani Valley.

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