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No let up in tensions at the India-China border over Ladakh incursion

CNN-IBN
Apr 24, 2013 at 09:10am IST

New Delhi: There is no let up in tensions at the India-China border with China violating the Indian airspace and incursions into Ladakh. CNN-IBN has learnt that the Chinese are objecting to the infrastructure build-up in Ladakh, especially roads and bridges. They also want Indian patrolling to stop before they move out.

Local military commanders from India and China held talks on Tuesday to defuse the tension. Two previous flag meetings between both sides have failed, but the Ministry of External Affairs is trying to downplay the incident, saying the two sides are clarifying the alignment of the Line of Actual Control and hope to resolve the issue peacefully.

ALSO SEE India, China fail to break impasse over Ladakh incursion

"It's not good to question the progress in India-China relationship because of this incident. We are doing whatever is in the interest of our nation," External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said.

However in the event of a face-off, the question is whether India is prepared. India has upgraded old airfields along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. These are the airfields at Daulat Beg Oldi and further south at Fuk Che and Nyoma. All these airfields can take transport aircraft and helicopters.

There are 70,000 troops including artillery regiments deployed in Siachen and the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. Also the Air Force deploys fighter jets in Srinagar and elsewhere in the valley.

But India's big failure is that there is virtually no road network or railways in the region. As compared to India, China deploys more than two lakh troops along its border with India in Ladakh. That includes mechanised infantry units, the artillery and tank formations .

China has reportedly built 14 major air bases in Tibet, 8 missile bases and 17 secret radar stations. It also has a highway network running all along the Line of Actual Control.

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