The deadlock has been in place since June last year on the issue of withdrawal of troops from both countries along the Indo-China border in eastern Ladakh. Recently satellite images revealed that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China (China) is working to establish a major military logistics hub in Tibet’s Xigatse in Tibet. Meanwhile, the Hindustan Times has claimed in a new report that there is strong evidence that China is rapidly working to build and expand military and civilian facilities in Tibet and its surrounding areas . This would increase China’s military capability along the Line of Actual Control, LAC.
According to the newspaper, apart from Ladakh, there is increasing evidence of the buildup of People’s Liberation Army and construction of civilian facilities along the disputed border of Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. The report claimed that China has launched a massive campaign to build villages in these areas, with the intention of settling thousands of people. Experts believe that this move by China is in line with Beijing’s efforts to increase connectivity and infrastructure for operations on the LAC.
This development by China has come to the fore after China doubled the number of airbases, air defense positions and heliports near the LAC in 2017–20. The report was submitted by the leading security and intelligence consultancy Startfor last year. China has made several improvements in military facilities at Lhasa Gonggar Airport, the main airport of the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. This includes renovating or building surface-to-air missile sites, a site for air defense systems, support sites for the airforce, shelters for fighter jets, etc. At the same time, Lhasa Airport has also been improved.
According to the satellite photos tweeted by @detresfa_, the new infrastructure upgrade is intended to directly boost the site’s military capabilities. The upgrade includes facilities for new runways, ammunition storage, etc. which will help increase sorties and reduce congestion at the airbase if there are more aircraft. The Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat also said in December last month that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China amidst the Sino-Indian standoff in Ladakh. Is carrying out development activities.