Satellite images have revealed China to have deployed towed artillery, 16 military tanks, gun emplacements and other equipment near Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de-facto border between the two countries.
“China moves large amount of artillery and mechanized elements on the Chinese side of LAC with India, bringing Indian deployments within striking distance,” DEFCON Warning System, a private intelligence organization, tweeted May 29.
“Detailed analysis of satellite images extensive deployment of towed artillery and mechanized elements on the Chinese side of the LAC opposite the Galwan valley,” highly placed sources were quoted as saying by Indian Express (IE) on Friday.
The source said images show the presence of “at least" 16 camouflaged tanks with a mix of infantry combat vehicles.
Bunkers, troops on ground and machine gun emplacements, flatbed trucks, excavator machines and dumper trucks have also been identified in the imagery.
“These suggest permanent defenses are being prepared by the Chinese in the area,” the source added.
China’s show of military might has come even as the foreign ministry said Wednesday that the “border area situation is overall stable and controllable.” Sun Weidong, Beijing’s envoy to Delhi, too said: “We should never allow our differences to shadow the overall development of our relations… We should gradually seek understanding through communication and constantly resolve differences.”
Massive construction activity has also been observed over the past two months at China’s Ngari Gunsa airport, located just 200km away from Pangong lake- the site of May 5 skirmish. Chinese Air Force Flankers can be seen parked near the main tarmac.
The Indian establishment is still waiting for signs of any de-escalation by the Chinese in eastern Ladakh.
“The next 72 hours are crucial in which we have to watch for any reduction in the soldiers and equipment from the Chinese side. So far (as on Thursday afternoon), there has been no change in their deployment. Our side also remains on high alert, we haven’t changed anything either,” an official told IE.
India has employed surveillance drones and reinforced military facilities in the area as a precaution.