India

Seven weeks into standoff: China steps up troop presence at Doklam

Seven weeks into standoff: China steps up troop presence at Doklam

PLA soldiers pitch 80 tents; Army advances exercise for units in Sikkim. The Indian Express has learnt that the number of Chinese troops in the area is estimated to be less than 800, which means that it is not a full PLA infantry battalion.

Seven weeks into the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam, there has been increased Chinese presence in the vicinity of the standoff site at the trijunction with Bhutan. At a distance of around one kilometre from Dolam plateau, north of Doka La post, the Chinese have pitched around 80 tents for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers. The Indian Express has learnt that the number of Chinese troops in the area is estimated to be less than 800, which means that it is not a full PLA infantry battalion.

In addition, around 300 PLA soldiers are deployed at the standoff site, facing around 350 Indian soldiers who are staying in nearly 30 tents pitched in the area. Refusing to comment on the presence of Chinese soldiers, official sources said “there is no movement from the other side that has been picked up by us”.

Meanwhile, the Indian Army has also advanced its schedule for Operational Alert, popularly called Op Alert, for units of 33 Corps looking after Sikkim’s border with China. An Op Alert is a two-week long annual training event in which all Army units move to familiarise themselves with their likely area of operation. The two-week period does not include the time for movement and acclimatisation for deployment at higher altitudes.

The Op Alert of 33 Corps is usually held late September or early October but has been advanced to early August. In this manner, the Army can stay prepared without giving any signals to the Chinese or providing any excuse for further provocation.

As only two of the 10 infantry brigades of 33 Corps are deployed in forward areas, an early Op Alert means that the troops of the rest of the brigades would undergo Stage-2 acclimatisation. Stage-1 acclimatisation is six days long, after which a soldier can operate up to 11,800 feet, while Stage-2 acclimatisation is for an additional four days where soldiers can then be deployed up to 14,700 feet.

By advancing the Op Alert, India is saving 10 days of acclimatisation which will be needed in case these troops are to be deployed at an altitude of up to 14,700 feet. While the standoff site at Dolam plateau is around 11,000 feet, the ridges in the area are at 14,000 feet.

Army sources refused to comment on the advanced Op Alert but maintained that “there is no unusual movement being done from our side”.

Meanwhile, the Army has prepared itself for a long haul at the standoff site. Winter stocking for supplies and stores to stay through the winter season have been made by the Thegu brigade. As the standoff site is barely a few metres away from Indian Army posts, the logistics supply chain is much shorter for the Indian side. The Chinese logistics supply chain, in contrast, is much longer and could be strained during the winter months.

Online Source: The Indian Express

India

More in India

“IABCA Stars” Celebrates Migrant Entrepreneurship & Community Leadership

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 17, 2018

Indian Migrants Sent US$5.71bn In Remittances To Other Countries In 2017

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 14, 2018

Sachin Pilot: We Oppose Lynching

The Indian TelegraphAugust 28, 2018

Netflix & Chill: Make Way Narcos, India Has Arrived

Twinkle GhoshAugust 21, 2018

As Floods Ravage Kerala, Labor Urges Oz Government To Extend Helping Hand

The Indian TelegraphAugust 20, 2018

Bengal Chamber Taps Government Sectors Down Under

Twinkle GhoshAugust 16, 2018

FIFA World Cup 2018: Let The Romance Begin

Twinkle GhoshJuly 18, 2018

Sonam Ki Shaadi

Aarti Kapur SinghJune 18, 2018

Dance Sydney Dance

Vish ViswanathanJune 12, 2018

The Next Gandhi is In You

ManasiJune 12, 2018

Bollywood Gupshup

Aarti Kapur SinghJune 12, 2018

Squat Here. Squat There. Better Squat Everywhere.

Susheela SrinivasMay 21, 2018

An Ode To Idli

Susheela SrinivasMay 21, 2018

Break the Silence, End the Violence

Vish ViswanathanMay 2, 2018

The Sky Isn’t The Limit For India’s Rocket Women

Susheela SrinivasMay 2, 2018

Australia India Youth Dialogue: Going Beyond The Clichéd Cs

Arijit BanerjiMay 2, 2018

Meet The Indian Power Puff Girls Of Sydney

Jyotsna SharmaMay 2, 2018

Western Sydney Poised To Benefit From NSW Premier’s India Visit

Vish ViswanathanApril 17, 2018

Let’s Take Yoga To Work

Susheela SrinivasApril 12, 2018

Australia India Youth Dialogue Strengthens Bilateral Ties

Scott FarlowApril 12, 2018

Akki’s Selfie With Suniel Shetty Takes Us Back To The Good Old Days

The Indian TelegraphApril 3, 2018