China continues its aggression! Plans to build G695 highway through Aksai-Chin

The talks last week took place to resolve almost two years of standoff between the armies of both countries in eastern Ladakh.

China continues its aggression! Plans to build G695 highway through Aksai-Chin
Indian, Chinese tanks disengaging from banks of Pangong lake area in Eastern Ladakh. (PTI file photo)

China continues with its provocation, even after the recently concluded 16th round of Corps Commander talks which remained inconclusive. In an area which is considered to be of strategic importance to India, satellite images available in public domain have shown a fully functional village east of Doklam which is on Bhutan side.

The talks last week took place to resolve almost two years of standoff between the armies of both countries in eastern Ladakh. The Chinese administration has plans to construct a new highway named ‘G695’. This highway will be passing through Aksai Chin, and this the area which India has been claiming for a long time.

To further boost its strategic position in the disputed region, China has plans to construct the `G695’ highway which will connect Xinjiang and Tibet. “This means better connectivity in the region,” said sources in the Indian defence and security establishment.

This is the region where the armies of both countries were in a standoff which lasted for almost 73 days at the Doklam tri-junction in 2017.  And at that time China was attempting to build a road inside the Bhutanese Territory.

A report in the South China Post published from Hong Kong has indicated that this highway is expected to go through southern Tibet’s Cona County. This is located immediately north of the disputed India-Tibet border which has been demarcated by the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

This is the region where the armies of both countries were in a standoff which lasted for almost 73 days at the Doklam tri-junction in 2017.  And at that time China was attempting to build a road inside the Bhutanese Territory.

In 2017, Indian Army troops had blocked the construction of a road by Chinese troops to Jhamperi ridge from Doklam plateau.

MEA says

Responding to media questions during the weekly briefing, MEA’s official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said that a constant watch was being kept on all developments which have a bearing on national security. Adding, all necessary measures were taken to safeguard the country’s interest.

The belligerent administration of China has 345 construction plans which have been proposed in its new national programme.  As per the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, by 2035, Xi-administration plans to construct around 461,000 km of highways and motorways. These will help in reviving its economy and also boost consumer spending through investment in infrastructure projects.

Though there are no details of the construction of `G695’, experts believe that this highway could be very close to the existing friction points including the Depsang Plains, Hot Springs on the Line of actual Control (LAC) and Galwan Valley.

Has China built highways before?

Yes. In the 1950s, a national highway in the Aksai region ‘G219’ was built by China and today it controls around 38,000 sq km of land. This land India has been claiming as its own.

In an effort to improve their efforts to improve logistics capabilities, both New Delhi and Beijing have stepped up infrastructure development along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.

In recent years, India has managed to improve its border infrastructure and has been building new roads and tunnels which will help in faster movement of the military personnel and vehicles and also ease the life of the people in border villages.

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