Leh: In yet another startling allegation that depicts the Red Dragon's encroachment plot in Ladakh, a local politician has claimed that the Chinese have converted the Zorawar Fort in Demchok into an observation point. Councillor of Leh's Chusul, Konchok Stanzin, shared a picture of the fort on his Twitter account on Wednesday and said that the structures at Demchok were built in 2010 and completed in 2012.
"Demchok’s Zorawar Fort at that point in time is now converted into a Chinese Observation Point," Stanzin said in a tweet, adding "Both double stories at New Construction Area (NCA) and the big Observation Point at Demchok started in 2010 and were completed in 2012. It's a fact that OP's location is Zorawar Fort at that point in time."
Speaking to FPJ, Stanzin said that the Chinese have been slowly building their infrastructure along the border and India should be doing the same. "The mainstream media does not report what is happening in the remote areas of Ladakh. The Chinese have been slowly encroaching on our territory," he said from Chushul.
Stanzin's contention is that there was a fort built by Dogra general Zorawar Singh in the area, and it was in Indian territory. But now it has become a Chinese twin-storey watch tower.
This is not the first time that China has been accused of encroaching on Indian territory in Ladakh. In 2020, there was a major standoff between the two countries at the Galwan Valley, which resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers.
The Indian government has not yet responded to Stanzin's allegations. However, the development is likely to further strain relations between India and China.
China's expansion of model villages along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)
China has been actively expanding its network of model villages, called 'Xiaokang' or moderately prosperous villages, along the Middle and Eastern sectors of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), as reported by The Hindu. These villages are being established approximately six to seven kilometers away from the LAC in the Middle sector, with a significant increase in the frequency of patrolling in certain areas.
Rapid construction and strategic locations
According to a report in The Hindu, the Chinese are constructing villages at a remarkable pace, building as many as 300-400 houses in multi-storey blocks within 90-100 days near Barahoti in Uttarakhand. This region has been the site of previous face-offs between the Indian and Chinese armies. The 3,488-kilometer-long LAC is divided into Western (Ladakh), Middle (Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand), and Eastern (Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh) sectors.
Increased patrols and military complexes
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has ramped up its patrols, occurring now every 15 days compared to the previous three to four months, as per the report. Additionally, the construction of a potential border settlement village and a military complex has been observed in the northwest of the Tholing area. The superstructures of buildings in both locations are already complete, indicating the rapid progress of construction.
Expansion in the eastern sector
In Arunachal Pradesh's Kameng area in the Eastern sector, China has established two villages accommodating approximately 200 inhabitants, along with a nearby military complex. The Hindu stated that numerous 'Xiaokang' villages are under construction along the LAC, including in the Chumbi valley, which faces the strategically significant 'Siliguri corridor'.