China has intensified its military presence and infrastructure strengthening along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in 2022, amid border tensions with India, according to a Pentagon report. Underground storage facilities, new roads, a dual-use airport and multiple helipads are part of Beijing’s infrastructure project along the LAC, according to the 2023 “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China” report. .
“Since early May 2020, sustained tensions along the India-China border have dominated the attention of the Western Theater Command. Divergent perceptions between India and the PRC regarding border demarcations along the LAC, combined with recent infrastructure construction on both sides, have led to multiple clashes. an ongoing standoff and military buildup along the shared border,” the report said.
It added that China’s Western Theater Command implemented large-scale mobilization and deployment along the Latin America and Caribbean region in response to the Galwan Valley clashes that claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers. . Deployments, according to the report, are expected to continue this year.
The report highlights that negotiations between India and China “have made minimal progress as both sides have resisted losing perceived benefits at the border.”
Listing Beijing’s infrastructure construction along the LAC, the report said: “In 2022, China continued to develop military infrastructure along the LAC. These improvements include underground storage facilities near Doklam, new roads in the three sectors of the LAC, new villages in the disputed areas. areas of neighboring Bhutan, a second bridge over Pangong Lake, a dual-use airport near the central sector and several helipads.
Regarding military deployments, it says: “In 2022, China deployed a border regiment, supported by two divisions from the Xinjiang and Tibet military districts with four combined arms brigades (CABs) in reserve in the western sector of the LAC. such as three light to medium CABs in the eastern sector from other theater commands and three additional CABs in the central sector of the LAC. Although some elements of a light CAB eventually withdrew, the majority of deployed forces remain in place along the area. LAKE.”
Earlier, in June this year, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh had said that India was talking to China at the military and diplomatic levels to resolve the issues. He had added that the government would never allow the sanctity of Indian borders to be violated.
“I would like to reiterate that there have been some activities on the LAC since 2013, but I categorically reject (claims) that there have been any significant changes or encroachments on the LAC after the formation of our government,” Mr. Singh had said during a security meeting. conclave, responding to opposition accusations against the Narendra Modi government over tensions in the LAC.
The Pentagon report also says China has more than 500 operational nuclear warheads and will likely have more than 1,000 by 2030. It adds that China’s navy, already the largest in the world, continues to grow.