PLA enhancing intelligence, surveillance of border troops amid China-India tensions: Report
A recent report by a UK-based group has said that the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA’s) Tibet Military Command is enhancing the intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities of its border defence troops amid heightened tensions between Beijing and New Delhi over a border dispute in the Himalayas.
Video footage released by the China Central Television 7 (CCTV 7) channel shows PLA Ground Force (PLAGF) units using what appear to be two recently delivered sensor systems at the Xiao border post, which is located near the Indian border at an altitude of 4,400 m above sea level, Janes Information Group reported citing Chinese state-owned media.
The CCTV report did not go into explicit details about the border facility, which is under the command of the Shannan Military Sub-District, but the video shows that the complex houses a number of barracks, watchtowers, and additional sensors.
Janes’ analysis of satellite imagery of the area indicates that the facility, which has been expanded in recent years, is located in Tibet’s Cona County, Shannan Province, adjacent to the Indian border by the strategic Bum La Pass, which was fought over during the 1962 Sino-Indian War.
India and China were engaged in a stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) since April-May last year due to actions of the Chinese Army. Last month, the disengagement process from both the north and south banks of Pangong Lake was completed by the two nations.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that complete disengagement “would allow both sides to consider de-escalation of forces in Eastern Ladakh as that alone will lead to the restoration of peace and tranquillity and provide conditions for progress in our bilateral relationship.”
In February, after the completion of disengagement in the Pangong Lake area, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar emphasised that both sides should now quickly resolve the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.