Chinese fighter jets ‘visible on Indian air defence radar’ as border dispute escalates

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India is keeping a close eye on Chinese jets after aircraft flew extremely close to the hostile border between the two nations. The Indian Air Force has been keeping strict aerial surveillance in the disputed region. Referring to the build-up of aircraft capability in the area, Defence Editor at The Economist, Shashank Joshi tweeted: “10 to 12 Chinese fighter aircraft have been stationed at the PLA Air Force bases in Hotan and Gargunsa.

“The Chinese fighter aircraft were flying around 30km, 18 miles, from Eastern Ladakh, nearly 6 miles away from the Indian areas as per the international border norms.”

Military and security policy writer Petri Mäkelä added: “Interesting, indirect pressure with fighters permanently visible to the Indian air defence radars.”

In the disputed mountainous area of Eastern Ladakh, India and China have reportedly recently brought up heavy weapons to prepare for a potential confrontation.

The enhancement of combat capabilities by the two armies in the region has come as both countries continued their efforts to resolve disputes through talks at military and diplomatic levels.

The Chinese Army has been gradually ramping up its strategic reserves in its rear bases near the Line of Actual Control or LAC.

Beijing has been fortifying its frontier in eastern Ladakh by rushing in artillery, infantry combat vehicles, and heavy military equipment, according to reports.

The Indian Army has also been moving in additional troops as well as equipment and weapons like artillery to aggressively match the Chinese build-up.

Indian military sources have reported on state television that they will not relent till the status quo is restored in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, and a number of other areas.

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The Chinese Army is thought to have deployed around 2,500 troops in Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley, besides gradually enhancing temporary infrastructure and weaponry.

Satellite images are believed to have captured significant ramping up of defence infrastructure by China on its side of the de-facto border.

This includes construction activities at a military airbase around 180 km, 110 miles, from Pangong Tso area.

The assessment by the Indian Army is that the build-up is aimed at putting pressure on India.

A senior Indian military official said: “We are well aware of the Chinese ploy.

“The Indian Army is firm on its stand that we are not going to accept anything less than the restoration of the status quo in the area.”

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said bilateral talks were taking place at military and diplomatic levels with China to resolve the row.

The trigger for the face-off was China’s opposition to India laying a key road in the finger area around Pangong Tso Lake, besides construction of another road connecting Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley.

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