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Amidst standoff, China heightens military activity in eastern sectors, central Sikkim


New Delhi, Nov 20: Amidst deteriorating relations owing to the standoff at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, China has now undertaken a large military infrastructure upgrade in the central Sikkim and eastern sectors.

As part of this upgrade, China has been strengthening its surface to air missile sites, expanding airbases in Tibet and an increase in unmanned aerial vehicles. India has noticed enhanced activity in these areas and learned that the People's Liberation Army has been engaging in road construction at Churup village.

Amidst standoff, China heightens military activity in eastern sectors, central Sikkim

There is also heightened PLA surveillance at Bum La and troops have been redeployed at Yebi. Further surveillance towers have come up at Change, which is 27 kilometres from the LAC and north of Sebu La in Sikkim.

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While talks between the two military commanders is expected to take soon, there appears to be no change in China's position at the LAC in eastern Ladakh. The manner in which the Chinese PLA is sending in reinforcements, it does not appear that the standoff is going to die down anytime soon.

Officials tell OneIndia that China continues to build up its troops and is adding infrastructure at the border to keep up the pressure with India even as the two sides continue dialogue on disengagement and de-escalation.

Further, the Indian side has noticed that the Chinese PLA is undertaking road construction for faster deployment on the LAC. This is being done to focus on the DBO sector as well as the Depsang Bulge area.

Further, there are containers, each accommodating six PLA soldiers. Apart from this new hospital facilities have come up in the depth areas. This has been done to cater to those soldiers who are suffering from altitude sickness.

India is well aware that it needs to be prepared for a long haul. However it is also important that the two sides keep talking so that there is no accident at the border, which could lead to further escalation.

The Indian Army on the other hand worked at a record speed to set up the heated shelters, arctic tents and bunkers. It also acquired specialised winter clothing, gear and other essential supplies for the over 50,000 troops deployed at the friction points along the Line of Actual Control.

Officials say that this was crucial as the temperatures have already dipped to minus 20 degree Celsius. The official said that the Indian Army has been prepping for this situation for long.

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    This is going to be a test of endurance and the situation along the LAC remains tense, but under control. The official cited above said that the Indian Army is ready for the long winter ahead. It would be a test of endurance, the source said while adding that India has the advantage as it has been sitting on the glaciated heights of the Saltoro ridge since 1984.

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