China building bunkers, hardened shelters close to Pangong Lake: Report

The report added that till the start of the standoff at the LAC in May 2020, there was almost no human habitation in the region.
Pangong Lake (File Photo)
Pangong Lake (File Photo)

New Delhi: China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has constructed underground bunkers for storing weapons and fuel and hardened shelters for protecting armoured vehicles at a key base in the area around Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh, media reports have claimed. The satellite images indicate that it is digging in for the long haul in the region.

According to the report, the PLA base at Sirjap is located amid mountains on the northern shore of the Pangong Lake and serves as the headquarters for Chinese troops deployed around the lake.

The base has been reportedly built in an area claimed by India and is located about 5 kilometres (km) from the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The report added that till the start of the standoff at the LAC in May 2020, there was almost no human habitation in the region.

The national daily said that at the time of filing the story, there had been no immediate response from officials regarding the satellite images.

The development at Pangong comes after satellite images from earlier this year revealed that about half a dozen Chengdu J-20 aircraft, which is China’s only operational stealth combat jet, had been deployed at its Shigatse base, which is located about 300 km from the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in West Bengal’s Hasimara, which houses a squadron of Rafale jets.

Built during 2021-22, the PLA base has underground bunkers for storing weapons, fuel and other supplies, the HT report said, citing images provided by US-based firm BlackSky, which can capture images 15 times a day with its satellites.

According to the report, an image captured on May 30 clearly shows eight entrances to a large underground bunker, while another smaller bunker, and its five entrances, is located near it.

(Defence Watch– India’s Defence News centre that places the spotlight on Defence Manufacturing, Defence Technology, Strategy and Military affairs is on Twitter. Follow us here and stay updated.)

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