Ladakh face-off

China is developing sophisticated arms with India in the west

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The Chinese media reported Tuesday that Beijing had installed “a range of advance arms designed for high-altitude fighting” in the western area in the middle of a strained partnership with India after the bloody Ladakh face-off on June 16 left 20 New Delhi soldiers dead.

According to Global Times, a top Chinese newspaper commenting on international issues from a nationalist perspective, the move came “as India continued to move forces and hold drills in the midst of border tensions between the two countries.

However, Global Times stressed that the deployment had taken place “before the latest consensus reached by both countries on de-escalating border tensions, as both sides have now agreed to disengage frontline soldiers.” “The arms, including the PHL-03 and PHL-11 self-propelled multiple rocket launcher devices, PCL-181 vehicle-mounted ashtrays, HJ-10 anti-tank rockets, 35 mm anti-aircraft cannons, Type 15 light tanks and Z-10 assault helicopters were deployed to the desert high altitude regions of Northwest China and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of Southwest China, according to several reports from China Central Television. (CCTV) over the past week.

“These arms are very effective at high altitudes because they are especially equipped for plateau activities, taking into consideration the scarcity of oxygen in certain areas,” the paper continued. It also cited an Indian media article stating that New Delhi “recently conducted aircraft drills like Apache assault helicopters at a forward base close the Real Control Line (LAC).”

The weapons deployed by Beijing have been “carefully chosen to best suit high-altitude warfare and fight the weapons of choice of potential enemies,” the publication said, citing a Chinese military expert. Indian government sources said Monday, after a confrontation between the two countries last month in which twenty Indian soldiers were killed, China started to pull back its troops from its disputed frontier. On the night of June 15, troops had battled with rods and clubs for hours, with several dropping to their deaths in the freezing waters of the Galwan River in the western Himalayas.

The Chinese military was seen on Monday removing tents and buildings at a site in the Galwan Valley near where the current confrontation took place, Indian government sources said, refusing to be named as they were not permitted to talk to the media. The sources reported that vehicles had been seen withdrawing from the region, as well as at Hot springs and Gogra — two other disputed border areas. India’s national security advisor Ajit Doval and Wang Yi — one of China’s top diplomats — had “a frank and in-depth border-related exchange of views” on Sunday, according to briefing notes issued by both countries Monday. All parties claimed they committed to a significant disengagement of the forces.

India’s note had also said that both sides agreed to respect the existing LAC reflecting positions along the disputed border section. The connection was not included in the meeting notice from Beijing. In response to a query as to whether China had moved equipment in the Galwan Valley, Chinese spokesperson for the foreign ministry, Zhao Lijian, said both sides were “taking immediate steps to disengage and ease the border situation.” “We hope India will meet China halfway and take concrete steps to implement what both sides have agreed, continue to communicate closely through diplomatic and military channels, and work together to cool down the border situation,” Zhao told a news conference.