Amid the ongoing border dispute, the Chinese military is reportedly building a motorable road inside the Indian territory near the disputed 'Finger' area of Pangong lake in Ladakh. According to reports, the construction of the road is in the final stage and happening near the Finger 4, an Indian area claimed by China.
Pangong lake's northern bank protrusions are identified as "Fingers" to demarcate territory. While India claims the Line of Actual Control (LAC) starts at Finger 8, China contends it begins at Finger 2, which is controlled by the Indian forces.
During the 1999 Kargil war, Indian troops had been moved from the area and deployed at the Indo-Pak border. At that time, the Chinese PLA intruded into the Indian side and built a road up to Finger 5. However, that wasn't completed and experts now say that the ongoing dispute is because Bejing now wants to take control up to Finger 3.
"...the Chinese are working at a fast pace blacktopping the route. This has always been the Chinese strategy and construction happens at super-fast speed," a report published by ThePrint quoted sources as saying.
Indian patrols blocked
On May 5, fistfight and stone pelting between Indian and Chinese troops had also taken place at this Finger area. Before the recent Chinese build-up, Indian soldiers used to patrol up to Finger 5. However, Chinese forces have now blocked Indian patrols by digging a huge pit and placing bulldozers at the route. If they are not driven away, India won't be able to carry out regulars patrols beyond Finger 3.
Although both India and China have claimed to resolve the dispute through "existing bilateral mechanism", experts feel that the Ladakh standoff may result in all-out combat between Asia's two most powerful militaries. Moreover, China has also built a huge scale model of Ladakh, which is done prior to a war. It is believed that the Ladakh standoff is the worst border dispute India had since Kargil with Pakistan in 1999.