Cabling to boost communication at China Ladakh flashpoint: report

The snow-capped mountain range is seen in Ladakh by a passenger plane (File)

Leh: Two Indian officials said Chinese troops were laying a network of optical fiber cables south of Pangong Lake in Ladakh, suggesting that they dig for the long haul despite high-level talks aimed at resolving the deadlock there Was doing.

A senior government official said that such cables, which provide forward detachments with secure lines of communication to the rear bases, have recently been spotted south of Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh.

China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to questions on the matter from Reuters, while defense officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Thousands of Indian and Chinese troops, supported by tanks and aircraft along the 70 km long front of the lake south, are locked in an uneasy stalemate.

A third Indian official said on Monday that there had been no significant withdrawal or reinforcement of the two since the foreign ministers of the two countries met last week.

“It’s just as stressful as before,” he said.

Over the main city of Leh, Ladakh, Indian Air Force fighter jets flew all morning, their engines buzzing and buzzing in a valley surrounded by gray and barren mountains.

“Our biggest concern is that they have laid optical fiber cables for high-speed communications,” said the first officer, referring to the southern bank of the lake, where the Indian and Chinese forces are only a few hundred meters apart from some points Are on

“They are laying optical fiber cables across the southern bank at breakneck speed,” he said.

Indian intelligence agencies mentioned a similar cable a month ago north of Pangong Tso Lake, another government official said.

The first government official said that officials were alerted to such activity after satellite imagery showed unusual lines in the high-altitude desert sands south of Pangong Tso.

These lines were evaluated by experts – and confirmed by foreign intelligence agencies – in the trenches, the communication cable, he said, near the Spangger trench, between the hiltops, where troops had recently been in the air for the first time in decades Fired

Officials say there is also likely to be a build-up in the border infrastructure from their side, which play a role in the months of confrontation.

A former military intelligence officer, who refused to change the name due to the sensitivity of the case, said optical fiber cables offered communication security as well as the ability to send data such as pictures and documents.

“If you speak on the radio, it can be caught. Communication over optical fiber cable is safe,” he said.

The Indian Army still relies on radio communications, the first official said, though he said it was encrypted.