Rezaul H Laskar for Hindustan Times.
There is mounting evidence that China has sped up work to build and expand military and civilian facilities in Tibet and surrounding areas that will enhance its military posture along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) amid the standoff with India in the Ladakh sector.
These new developments come on the back of China more than doubling the total number of airbases, air defence positions, and heliports near the LAC during 2017-20, as detailed in a report issued last year by Stratfor, a leading security and intelligence consultancy based in the US.
There is also growing evidence of the build-up of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and civilian facilities in sectors other than Ladakh, such as along the disputed border in Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. In these areas, China has embarked on an extensive campaign of building villages in disputed regions with the intention of settling thousands of people in hitherto uninhabited areas.
The latest open-source satellite imagery suggests China has improved connectivity between key cities and military hubs in Tibet to reduce the time taken to move troops and logistics towards the frontier.
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