world news Caught Between Indian and Chinese Troops, at 15,000 Feet


news net daily :

NEW DELHI — First it was cellphone towers, new roads and surveillance cameras, popping up on the Chinese side of the disputed Himalayan border with India.

Then it was more run-ins between troops on each side, pushing, shoving and eventually getting into fistfights.

Then, about three years ago, Indian soldiers spotted their Chinese counterparts carrying iron bars with little numbers written on them — a weapon apparently issued as standard gear, and a sign that the Chinese were gearing up for hand-to-hand combat.

“This is how China operates,” said J.P. Yadav, a recently retired official with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, on the Indian side. “These are very planned things.”

Now, weeks after a deadly brawl erupted along the border, thousands of Chinese and Indian troops stand eyeball to eyeball in one of the most remote places on earth. Satellite photos reveal a major Chinese buildup, including a blizzard of new tents, new storage sheds, artillery pieces and even tanks.

Each country has accused the other of provocative actions along the murky border. But according to people who live and work in the region, Ladakh, a Chinese push into Indian territory has been building for years.

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