The Chinese army has done some construction activities along the international border across Karakoram ranges in Ladakh sector for the first time since the 1962 standoff between the two countries with a report of Jammu and Kashmir government saying that they have been taking "land in inches and not in yards".
The Chinese Army - PLA - has been engaged in construction activities across the Karakoram ranges which could be used for either stationing of additional personnel or mounting a camera for monitoring Indian troop movement, official sources said.
The Karakoram pass falls precisely on the boundary between India and China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region, marking northern end of Sino-Indian border, known as the Line of Actual Control.
It also plays a major geographic role in the dispute between Pakistan and India over control of the Siachen Glacier area immediately to the west of the pass.
This situation arose from the Simla Agreement, signed in 1972 between India and Pakistan, when the treaty failed to specify the last 100 km of ceasefire line from end of the Line of Control to Karakoram Pass. The West of the Pass is also referred as China-Indian-Pakistani tripoint.
While Army tried to downplay this development, they, however acknowledged that some digging activity had been noticed. "There has been no report of concrete huts being built across Karakoram Pass. However, some digging has been noticed well inside Chinese territory," an Army spokesman said in a written reply to PTI.
In a related development, the report of Jammu and Kashmir government highlights the Chinese incursions into various parts of Ladakh.
"They (Chinese) have threatened the nomadic people who had been using Dokbug area (in Ladakh sector) area for grazing since decades long, in a way to snatch our land in inches. A Chinese proverb is famous in the world - better do in inches than in yards," the report filed by a former Sub Divisional Magistrate (Nyoma) Tsering Norboo said.
Norboo had been deputed by the state government to probe incursion of Chinese Army in Dokbug area and threatening the local shepherds to leave the land as it belonged to them. The area has been used by the shepherds to graze their livestock as the area is warmer compared to other parts of Ladakh.
The SDM pointed out that it was another attempt by Chinese to claim the territory as disputed in the same fashion as they had taken Nag Tsang area opposite to Phuktse airfield in 1984, Nakung in 1991 and Lungma-Serding in 1992.
Shepherds and nomads from December to March every year during which their young lambs were capable to walk frequented the area of Dokbug and Doley Tango.
The SDM has also highlighted the fact that Army stopped these nomads from vacating the land who were terrified by the Chinese threats.
Ahead of this construction work in Karakoram region of Ladakh sector, the Chinese Army has violated the International Border in Ladakh region and painted boulders and rocks in the area red.
The Chinese troops had entered nearly 1.5 kilometres into the Indian territory on July 31 near Mount Gya, recognised as International border by India and China, and painted the boulders and rocks with "China" and "Chin9" in red spray paint.
The 22,420 ft Mount Gya, also known as "fair princess of snow" by Army, is located at the tri-junction of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, and Tibet. Its boundary was marked during the British era and regarded as International border by the two countries.
Before this, Chinese helicopters had violated the Indian air space on June 21 along the Line of Actual Control in Chumar region and also helli-dropped some expired food.