China Spooked By India’s Occupation Of Heights South Of Pangong Lake, Building New Road To Mitigate Threat From Indian Army

by Swarajya Staff - Nov 11, 2020 10:26 AM +05:30 IST
China Spooked By India’s Occupation Of Heights South Of Pangong Lake, Building New Road To Mitigate Threat From Indian ArmyAn Indian army convoy in the Himalayas 
Snapshot
  • Why China is working on a new road south of the Pangong Lake in Ladakh.

China has started working on a new road south of the Pangong Lake after the Indian Army, aided by the Special Frontier Force, captured tactically important heights in the area, the latest satellite imagery shows.

On the intervening night of 29 and 30 August, Indian soldiers had captured heights in the Chushul sub-sector near the Spanggur Lake.

Being in control of these heights, overlooking the Spanggur Gap and the Chinese positions in the area, give India a significant advantage.

India can not only keep an eye on all Chinese movements, but also direct fire at these enemy positions in case hostilities escalate further.

The new Chinese road, which is coming up at some distance from the heights occupied by India, is being built to mitigate threats from India.

The existing Chinese road along the southern shore of the Spanggur Lake, which links PLA positions in this area to the Tibet-Xinjiang Highway, is vulnerable to attacks from the Indian Army troops on the Rezang-La-Rechin La ridgeline.

Ladakh’s Chushul Sector. All labels are only for representation and may not be very accurate. (Illustration: Swarajya Magazine/Map: <a href="https://elevationmap.net/">elevationmap.net</a>)
Ladakh’s Chushul Sector. All labels are only for representation and may not be very accurate. (Illustration: Swarajya Magazine/Map: elevationmap.net)

China has built an extensive road network in the area, right up to the Spanggur Gap. This network of roads connects the PLA bases in the area with the Tibet-Xinjiang Highway (Highway 219) in the Tibetan town of Rudok.

Spanggur Lake and Chinese presence around it. (@detresfa_/Twitter)
Spanggur Lake and Chinese presence around it. (@detresfa_/Twitter)

The new road will also help China to avoid reconnaissance.

The occupation of heights by India in the area has given New Delhi a bargaining chip to negotiate for China’s withdrawal in the ongoing military talks.

With India occupying positions on heights both north and south of the Spanggur Gap, its ability to thwart a Chinese attempt to ingress through the gap has increased significantly.

India is better placed to thwart such an attempt now than it would have been if the PLA had occupied these heights.

Fully armed Indian troops sitting on these heights atop the ridgeline, including those overlooking the Spanggur Gap, can not only monitor movements of the Chinese forces deployed in the larger area south of the Pangong Lake, but also dominate a number of PLA camps and positions in the area.

Read: Preempting China: How Army Occupying Heights South Of The Pangong Lake In Ladakh Helps India

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