Newly surfaced satellite images on social media point toward China having started working on a road network near the newly constructed bridge, which is on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake near the Line of Actual Control between India and China.
What Is Happening In Pangong?
A Twitter user by the name of Damien Symon noticed these changes on May 2 ad shared photographs of it in a series of tweets. The satellite images are low-resolution in nature and are available from the European Space Agency's (ESA) Copernicus services. These images do not show the construction progress, but they show that a road is indeed getting constructed near the new bridge.
These satellite images, which were independently sourced by India Today, also showed that the construction of the road was very significant during the last two weeks of April. The bridge, which completed construction in January, was termed 'illegal' by the Centre.
What Are China's Motives?
Earlier this year, the Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan told the Parliament, "The government has taken note of a bridge being constructed by China on Pangong Lake. This bridge is being constructed in areas that have continued to be under the illegal occupation of China since 1962." He further added that the Government of India never accepted this illegal operation.
It is believed that this newly constructed road is a key part of the Chinese government's efforts to prevent another situation like August 2020, when the IAF gained control of critical positions on Kailash Heights and gained the upper hand over China.
The new infrastructure that includes linking the new bridge with a road network will reduce the distance, which will then reduce the response time the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) would require while moving their assets from Rutog.
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