Chinese fighter aircraft are continuing attempts to provoke India in Eastern Ladakh as they have been flying close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC)

New Delhi: From Chinese fighter jets repeatedly violating agreements along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) — forcing the Indian Air Force (IAF) to scramble its own — to building a new highway that will connect all the current friction points and speed up deployment of new military equipment close to the borders, China is keeping up the pressure in the over two-year-long standoff with India.

Sources in the defence and security establishment said that the Chinese intent is to “keep the pot simmering” and not go in for any actual de-escalation as wanted by India.

The ongoing provocation by the Chinese is being done through an air exercise under which their fighters and even drones are repeatedly violating the 10-km Confidence Building Measure (CBM) agreement between the two sides.

According to this agreement, both sides are to avoid their fighters from coming within a 10-km radius of the LAC.

However, the provocation has continued. Sources said the violation was raised by the Indian side during the last Corps Commander level talks held on 17 July. They said the Chinese jets have flown within the agreed radius even after the talks.

“There has not been any Indian airspace violation by the Chinese that has violated the local agreement. We are on alert and take tactical steps whenever we notice something,” a source in the defence and security establishment said.

Another key provocation by the Chinese is their plan to build a new highway near the LAC that will run through the disputed territory of Aksai Chin and the existing flashpoints in Eastern Ladakh.

Referred to as the G-695 national expressway, the highway is part of China’s newly unveiled national programme that aims to build 345 new infrastructure projects, totalling 4,61,000 km of highway and motorway, by 2035.

The highway will give China another access point to quickly mobilise and move troops to forward locations at the LAC when required. It will also ensure smoother logistics management for the troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) posted along the border.

The tension isn’t just limited to the 1,597-km border in Ladakh but stretches to the Eastern Sector where the Chinese are busy building infrastructure, including villages, close to the LAC.

Air Force Ready

Indian Air Force is also prepared and responding to the situation very responsibly. Indian Air Force is not missing any opportunity to tackle the threat. At the same time, it is not allowing this aggression to grow in the form of confrontation in any way. Government sources said that other fighter aircraft, including China’s J-11, are flying close to the Line of Actual Control. In the recent past, there have been cases of breaches of confidence building measures line within a radius of 10 kms in this area.

Indian Army Also Full Alert

Sources said that the Indian Air Force has taken strong steps to respond to these provocations. The Army has moved its most powerful fighter jets, including the MiG-29 and Mirage-2000, beyond their base zones. Now Indian planes have been stopped from where the Chinese can be given a befitting reply in minutes. It seems that the People’s Liberation Army is tensed over the infrastructure development works of the Indian Air Force in the Ladakh sector. Now the Indian Air Force can closely monitor Chinese activities in the areas under its control.

China Is Repeatedly Provoking The Army

The Chinese plane allegedly violated the rules and took off at the friction point for a few minutes. Any such attempt by China is also being responded to by the Indian Air Force. Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said that the LAC is being continuously monitored by us. He said whenever the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) fighter jets come very close to the border, there is a prompt response from the Indian Air Force to deal with the situation.

Air Force Chief’s Statement A Few Days Ago

A few days ago, the statement of the Air Force Chief came about this issue. Indian Air Force Chief VR Choudhary had said that whenever we see Chinese aircraft or remotely operated aircraft coming very close to the LAC, we take appropriate measures by keeping our aircraft on high alert. When asked why the Chinese Air Force is trying to provoke India just before the talks. In response to this question, he said that I cannot point to any specific reason why they are doing this, but we are keeping an eye on it. Along with this, necessary answer is also being given from our side.