China deploys fifty thousand troops near Indian border

The rise of China was always going to be the defining issue of the 21st century.(Reuters: China Daily)

New Delhi (GDC) — China has amassed over 50,000 troops and a range of aircraft and missile systems across the Line of Actual Control but the top level of the Indian government assesses that the threshold for a conflict has still not been reached though India is prepared for any eventuality.

While recent events like attempts to approach Indian forward posts and push back troops located at strategic heights are being watched carefully, there is a view that Chinese actions were more akin to ‘pinpricks’ and the current deployment of the PLA is not geared for tactical action, though they could well build up to an armed conflict on the border.

India has also clearly conveyed to China that any attempt to breach the perimeter around its forward posts along the LAC will be treated as an act of hostility which will get a professional Army response.

According to intelligence with Indian officials, China has amassed about 50,000 troops, surface-to-air missiles, a large section of rocket forces and close to 150 fighter aircraft within striking distance of LAC, the largest buildup of troops in the region.

The buildup has enhanced steadily since early May, when China redeployed troops participating in an exercise in Tibet towards LAC. India has still not been able to figure the motive and timing of the move.

There is an assessment that the PLA troops are not controlled by local military commanders but directly from Beijing. It is learnt that in the new conflict zone along the southern bank of Pangong Tso, Chinese troops have been trying to test Indian positions daily, apparently on the direct instructions from Beijing.

Besides attempts to approach Indian forward positions in Chushul, PLA has made attempts to send in light tanks and infantry combat vehicles across the border, which were blocked by larger Indian Army tanks that have been deployed as tensions shot up.

The situation along the northern bank of the Pangong Tso also remains tense, with Indian Army taking positions at forward locations in the Finger Area, in contention since early May when the PLA took control of Finger 4 and constructed defences to block Indian access towards Finger 8.

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