China builds military structures on disputed border with India

25 June 2020 (Last Updated June 29th, 2020 07:43)

China has reportedly built a number of structures in the Galwan Valley close to the location of a recent clash between two countries' armed forces that resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian personnel.

China builds military structures on disputed border with India
Chinese Army reinforce its forces with heavy machinery during the rising border tensions with India in the Galwan Valley. Credit: Tyg728.

China has reportedly built a number of structures in the Galwan Valley close to the location of a recent clash between two countries’ armed forces that resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian personnel.

The structures situated on the disputed border between India and China were revealed through satellite images reported on Reuters.

The build-up of military installations is believed to include tents, bunkers and storage facilities.

The are has become a flashpoint in recent months with both India and China sending personnel to the region to bolster their presence. Earlier this month, a violent clash left 20 Indian troops dead and unconfirmed number of Chinese casualties.

The two sides have held talks in an effort to defuse tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries. Since the clash, both China and India have reportedly been seeking ways to cool tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that separates the two countries.

India says that China has built structures on its side of the border. However, China has said that the entire region of the valley belongs to it.

Disputes in the region are common, with areas of land claimed by both India and China. These claims are compounded by an unmarked border that can be prone to shifting due to geographical features such as rivers and mountains. This means personnel from China and India often stray into the other’s territory.

According to the Economic Times, China has deployed around 10,000 personnel to the border, with further personnel deployed to the region surrounding the Chinese side of the border.

The satellite images, taken by US-based Maxar Technologies, show a number of structures that were not images of the region taken last month. Both sides have blamed the other for violent clashes, including the deadly incident in the Galwan Valley.

Troops manning border posts and patrolling the region do not carry guns after an agreement was signed in an attempt to prevent a major escalation this, however, has led to hand-to-hand combat and rock-throwing.

The area is seen as strategically important by both countries, with China seeing security in the area important for its economic corridor with Pakistan, and India recently stepping up infrastructure efforts with the building of a new road in Ladakh.