China digs in with 5G network at Ladakh border with India

There has been no breakthrough in the India-China talks for disengagement in Ladakh. (PTI). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Aug 28, 2020, India Today. As the dialogue process to find a resolution to the India-China standoff lingers on, Chinese enhancement of infrastructure close to the friction points in Ladakh has further intensified, including the setting up of 5G network near Demchok and fresh constructions at the Pangong Lake, India Today reported.

China is establishing 5G networks along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) for better communication while preparations have been noticed near Demchok area since the first week of August, intelligence reports indicate.

Fresh construction has also been noticed at the Pangong Lake where Chinese troops continue to hold positions. New huts and sheds have come up even amid the talks for disengagement.

The India-China standoff is nearing four months after tensions broke out in early May.

Mobilisation of Chinese troops continue along LAC, promoting India to continue with the enhance troop deployment in Ladakh. Indian Army has increased its deployment by three times. The Army is all set to continue with the additional troops even in peak winter.

“The deployment will depend on constant reviews. Till there is no change in the situation the enhanced deployment will continue,” said an Army official.


After the initial disengagement situation did not change as Chinese troops continued with their presence on the ridgeline of Pangong Lake. Even on the shore of the lake, pullback has been minimal as the Chinese have moved back from Finger 4 to 5 but expect India also to retreat. The mountain spurs jutting out into the lake are referred as fingers in military parlance.

China’s condition that it will pull back from the finger area of Pangong Lake but this should also be reciprocated by India has made the situation more complex, sources said.

India too pulled back from Finger 4 where troops from both sides had been in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation but a further retreat is not acceptable to India. India has maintained that status quo ante as of April end must be restored but China’s reservations have led to a deadlock.

Between Finger 5 and 8, China has strengthened its positions, brought in more boats and also set up new pre-fabricated huts keeping in mind a winter deployment.

“China has been demanding that India will also have to move back further in Pangong Lake if it wants China to pull back. This has made the situation trickier as a further retreat by India would mean leaving an area that is under our control. This would change the status quo,” said an official.

There have been five rounds of talks at the Corps Commander level and a diplomatic dialogue also continues. Another round of military talks is expected soon, sources said.

While initial disengagement took place in Galwan and Patrol Point 15, Pangong Lake but Gogra-Hot Springs area, also known as Patrol Point 17A, continued to be volatile.

There have been several deliberations to decide the future strategy if the Chinese don’t move back. Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat has also said if talks fail, India will think of military options. Frequent meetings have been taking place in the security establishment to review the situation along LAC in Ladakh.

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