South China Sea: Expert on reported missile deployment in 2016
Pangong Tso is a lake in the disputed territory, with a section of the lake controlled by China but claimed by India. China’s state media outlet The Global Times cited a report from the Indian funded National Center for Microbial Resource-National Center for Cell Science which said the lake has been damaged by increased human activity.
The report stated the increase in human activity near the lake, especially from tourists staying in villages nearby, has caused bacteria to flourish.
The Global Times then added it found tents to accommodate around 10,000 people in the Mann village near the lake.
Opening their article, the Global Times blasted India for damaging the ecosystem of the lake.
They said “India has not only threatened the peace and stability in the region around Pangong Tso lake by inciting frequent tussles along the lakeshore, it is also threatening the unique ecosystem” of the body of water.
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Chinese media outlets have previously accused India of ramping up military deployments on their side of the lake.
Satellite imagery is said to show Indian military facilities being erected on “Finger 4”, a mountain spur, for the lake in 2020 according to Chinese media.
The outlets also claim Indian military camps were constructed on “Finger 3” between 2013 and 2014.
But open-source intelligence Twitter user @detresfa_ shared satellite images of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces “mushrooming all over” the lake area.
China has constructed a new road south of Pangong Tso, and showed off PLA commandos carrying out physical training in the region.
India has also recently boosted security details near the lake, with the government also fast tracking the construction of 12 fast patrol boats to counter the Chinese.
Military deployments have escalated in the area in the wake of June’s lethal clash between Indian and PLA forces.
An unconfirmed number of PLA troops and 20 Indian soldiers died in a hand-to-hand clash in the border region last year.
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In the wake of the lethal clash, both China and India have been in deadlocked diplomacy talks over deescalating tensions in the region.
After eight months and eight rounds of negotiations at the military commander level neither sides have agreed to stand down in Ladakh.
A senior Indian official told the Hindustan Times: “While the dates for the ninth round of military talks are still to be decided, we are in no hurry as the Chinese side is yet to get back with certain clarifications towards disengagement and de-escalation on ground.
“We are prepared for a long haul but the ultimate objective is to get the heavy armour of both armies back to bases.”
Both India and China insist, however, the border is stable and no further military action will be taken.
India has angered China by engaging in military drills with the US, Japan and Australia.
China on the other hand has angered India with a military agreement with Pakistan, another country along the LAC.
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