China And India Increased Construction Along Their Disputed Border

China Has The Upper Hand For Construction Of High-Level Buildings And Roads

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Both countries, India and China, are trying to out-build each other as they have increased the construction along their disputed border.  The tension between both countries has surged since the killing of three Indian military soldiers amid a brawl with the Chinese forces on the disputed border checkpoint at Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. No firearms are allowed on disputed land, due to which both parties used clubs, rocks, and fists to combat each other, which resulted in four fatalities on the Indian army’s side.

After the brawl, several other provocative actions between both countries have increased the level of strain. In the last month, at least twenty Indian force soldiers have died due to a clash with the Chinese forces, after India decided to construct a new road towards their high-altitude forward military airbase. Both China and India increased construction along their disputed border after India has completed building a 255-kilometer road towards the world’s highest airbase that is located around 5,000 meters above sea level.

Both parties are providing a large amount of manpower and money towards the construction of rail links, airfields, and roads alongside the Line of Actual Control, which is a de Facto border separating both nations. The recent establishment of DSDBO road that is connected to the Indian airstrip has infuriated the Chinese government, after which both China and India have increased the construction along their disputed border. Both countries are viewing the increasing building as a calculated tactical move to gain an advantage over the other side.

India’s construction advancement

The complete formation of the Darbuk Shyok Daulat Beg Oldi road (DSDBO) that directly connects Daulet Beg Oldi airbase to the regional capital city of Leh has provided an advantage to India, as the route helps in faster movement of equipment. Before the reactivation of this airstrip and complete construction of the road, only helicopters were used for transportation and dropping of equipment, which led towards turning the area into a graveyard for numerous equipment.

Other multiple bridges and roads are being constructed to be connected with the road and alongside the Line of Actual Control that would enable the Indian patrol forces to travel further in the forward direction and to shift the strategic variability of the area. Even though there have been several recent clashes between both countries, India has announced to provide 12,000 labor workers that will be constructing roads along the disputed border in all areas that are directly connected with China.

These are necessary changes required to neutralize the logistical advantage of China against India. Due to these changes, both countries have increased contraction along their disputed border that would prevent delayed transportation of soldiers and firearms. A total number of 73 strategically placed roads and 125 bridges have been approved by the Indian government to be constructed on the Indian side along the Line of Actual Control. Up till now, only 35 roads have been completely built, and another 11 roads are expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Head-start of construction by China

In the past recent years, China has been putting their distinguished constructive abilities in the building of its military airfields, cantonment areas, and other physical groundwork alongside their frontier. In the 1950s, China was able to build a complete road that leads to the Himalayan mountain range, which now has a complete rail network and extensive road in Yunnan and Tibet province.

In the past years, China has increased construction along their disputed border with India, Nepal, and Bhutan by expanding connectivity via roads, rails, and bridges. By the end of this year, a complete concrete road on the Chinese side along the Line of Actual Control will be constructed by the end of this year. A new rail track line is under construction that will connect Shigatse to Chengdu via Nyingchi, which is located quite near to the Indian disputed border.

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