China Builds Bridge across Pangong Lake
- China started constructing a bridge in Eastern Ladakh connecting the North and South Banks of Pangong Tso.
- This move would significantly lower the time for People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to move troops and equipment between the two sectors.
- It raises concerns for India and its border security in the LAC region.
- After the military standoff last year at Galwan valley Both side started acting on it.
- India and China both worked to improve existing infrastructure & built several new roads, bridges, landing strips along the entire frontier.
- Since India's capture of Black Top and strong stance on other areas like Magar Hill, Gurung Hill, Rezang La, Rechin La, China is desperate to advance along Spanggur Tso lake to strengthen their position.
About the Issue
- The construction of the bridge started around finger 8 of the LAC.
- It is around 20 km east of Finger 8 on the lake’s north bank.
- The Lake is monitored by the Finger Areas - a set of 8 cliffs extending out of the Sirijap range (on the northern bank of Lake).
- Pangong Tso(a fresh water lake) is 135 km long, Almost 2/3rd of it is under Chinese control.
- The north and south banks of the lake are several friction points, which surfaced after the start of the standoff.
- The area had seen massive mobilisation - Both sides even deployed tanks, barely a few hundred metres apart from each other.
- The bridge is in China's territory, and the Indian Army will have to factor this in its operational plans.
- Various activities are going on like the widening of roads, building of new roads and bridges, new bases, airstrips, advance landing bases, etc
- These are not restricted to the eastern Ladakh region, but are happening across the three sectors of the India-China boundary (Eastern, Middle and Western).
- The bridge will cut a 180-kilometer gap from Khurnak(south banks) through Rudok.
- This will reduce the distance between Khurnak and Rudok to 40-50 kilometres, rather than approximately 200 kilometres as previously stated.
- The building of the bridge will allow it to mobilise its troops faster in this area, hoping to prevent a repeat of what happened in August 2020.