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China constructing 2nd bridge on Pangong Tso capable of carrying military vehicles, armoured columns: Report

People's Liberation Army aims for multiple routes to counter any possible operations by the Indian security forces in the future.

Paras Bisht Edited by: Paras Bisht @ParasBisht15 New Delhi Updated on: May 18, 2022 13:49 IST
People's Liberation Army, China, India, indo-china, PLA, Pangong Tso, Pangong Tso bridge, Pangong Ts
Image Source : TWITTER@DETRESFA_

New activity shows a larger bridge being developed parallel to the first in order to support heavier movement over the lake. 

Highlights

  • The first bridge built by China is now complete
  • China's construction of the new bridge has been seen three weeks ago
  • New bridge is much bigger and wider than the previous one

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) is constructing a huge bridge over the Pangong Tso Lake. This will be the second bridge on the Pangong Tso on the Chinese side, which will be used to transport heavy military vehicles like tanks, armoured vehicles very close to the Indian border. China is building this second bridge at a time when the standoff in Ladakh has entered its third year. The first bridge built by China is now complete.

According to a report in The Print, the first bridge will be used as a service bridge for the construction of the second. The report quoted defense sources as saying that China is using the first bridge to install its cranes and bring other construction materials. The new bridge is right next to the bridge built earlier. This new bridge is much bigger and wider than the previous one. The source said that China's construction of the new bridge has been seen three weeks ago.

Also Read | China sets up 3 mobile towers near LAC in Ladakh: Is the dragon planning something sinister?

Earlier, the Indian Army had put China on the back foot by capturing the peaks located on the southern bank of Pangong Lake. The aim of China is to prevent such action in future. The construction of the first bridge by China created a huge uproar in India. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that China was building a strategic bridge on the Pangong Tso in Ladakh, and took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he “may go to inaugurate even this bridge”. “China is building a strategic bridge in our country. The PLA’s spirits are being emboldened due to the silence of the PM. Now, the fear is the PM may go to inaugurate even this bridge,” Gandhi alleged in a tweet in Hindi.

However, the bridge is built by the Chinese Army on the Pangong Tso Lake around 25 km inside the territory controlled by Chinese Army. The disputed area was captured by the People's Liberation Army even before the 1962 war, sources said. The bridge is around 25 kilometres inside the Chinese-occupied territory near the Khurnak Fort area around Rutog, sources in the security establishment said. The area was occupied by the Chinese Army after 1959 following their aggressive policy against India. 

The Indian side is also making a lot of infrastructure efforts in the areas around the Pangong Lake and other forward locations along the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Ladakh sector. Indian armoured regiments are also present in large numbers in Ladakh sector. The number of troops in the Ladakh sector have also been enhanced significantly to deter any misadventure by the Chinese military. India and China have been engaged in a standoff since April-May 2020 over the transgressions by the Chinese Army in multiple areas including the Finger area, Galwan Valley, Hot springs, and Kongrung Nala. The situation worsened after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in violent clashes with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in June 2020. New Delhi and Beijing have been engaged in holding talks on the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Ladakh area to resolve the standoff. So far, 14 rounds of talks have been held. 

Also Read | Hackers targeted India’s power grid near Ladakh over last 8 months in major cyber attack from China

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