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China Laying Cables To Boost Communications At Ladakh Flashpoint: Report

Snow-covered mountain vary is seen from a passenger airplane in Ladakh (File)

Leh:

Two Indian officers mentioned Chinese troops have been laying a community of optical fibre cables south of Pangong Lake in Ladakh, suggesting they have been digging in for the lengthy haul regardless of high-level talks aimed toward resolving a standoff there.

Such cables, which would supply ahead troops with safe strains of communication to bases within the rear, have not too long ago been noticed to the south of Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh, a senior authorities official mentioned.

China’s overseas ministry didn’t instantly reply to questions on the matter from Reuters, whereas defence officers couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

Thousands of Indian and Chinese troops backed by tanks and plane are locked in an uneasy stalemate alongside a 70 km-long entrance to the south of the lake.

A 3rd Indian official mentioned on Monday that there had been no vital withdrawals or reinforcements on both aspect for the reason that overseas ministers of the 2 international locations met final week.

“It is as tense as earlier,” he mentioned.

Above Leh, Ladakh’s important metropolis, Indian Air Force fighter planes flew all through the morning, their engines booming and echoing throughout the valley surrounded by brown, barren mountains.

“Our biggest worry is that they have laid optical fibre cables for high-speed communications,” the primary official mentioned, referring to the lake’s southern financial institution, the place Indian and Chinese troops are just a few hundred metres aside at some factors.

“They have been laying optical fibre cables on the southern bank at breakneck speed,” he mentioned.

Indian intelligence businesses famous related cables to the north of the Pangong Tso lake round a month in the past, the second authorities official mentioned.

The first authorities official mentioned the authorities have been alerted to such exercise after satellite tv for pc imagery confirmed uncommon strains within the sand of the high-altitude deserts to the south of Pangong Tso.

These strains have been judged by specialists – and corroborated by overseas intelligence businesses – to be communication cables laid in trenches, he mentioned, together with close to the Spanggur hole, amongst hilltops the place troopers fired within the air not too long ago for the primary time in many years.

Officials say a build-up in border infrastructure on their aspect can also be prone to have performed an element within the months-long confrontation.

A former navy intelligence official, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, mentioned optical fibre cables provided communications safety in addition to the flexibility to ship information similar to photos and paperwork.

“If you speak on radio, it can get caught. Communications on optical fibre cables is secure,” he mentioned.

The Indian navy nonetheless will depend on radio communications, the primary official mentioned, though he mentioned it was encrypted.

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