Continuing ramping up its border infrastructure in the Southern Tibet, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has stepped up its road construction activities in Doklam plateau. China's latest objective in this region is to ensure all-weather access to this harsh region which is snowbound in winters, making it inaccessible for the troop's movement.
Doklam is the same region where the two countries were engaged in a year-long standoff in 2017. Beijing has tarred and reinforced its existing track in Doklam since the 2017 India-China standoff to make it an all-weather lane. In Doklam, Beijing has tarred and improved its existing route.
As per a report published in NDTV, the Chinese construction worker have constructed the "tunnel" length to 500 metres through the Merug La pass at high altitude that is near to Doklam. The development has come amidst Chinese President Xi Jinping instructing officials to speed up the development of a new $47.8 billion railway project linking the southwestern province of Sichuan with Linzhi in Tibet near the Indian border in Arunachal Pradesh, stating that it will play a key role in safeguarding border area stability.
India aggressively building up border infrastructure
The Indian government has also started to aggressively build border infrastructure in the last few years. A data by Ministry of Defence (MoD) has shown that in the last two years, work on vital frontier infrastructures such as roads and bridges has increased by almost 75% across seven states and union territories sharing borders with China and Pakistan. The roads are being constructed in border areas of Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh.
Moreover, Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh inaugurated 44 major bridges at strategic locations along the western, northern and northeastern borders last month. This included eight major bridges, each situated in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, along with 28 other bridges spanning various border sectors. Armies of two countries have been engaged in border standoff in eastern Ladakh since June this year. Although multiple rounds of talks have already taken place both sides are yet to reach any conclusion.