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India-China panic: Beijing accused of major step at border flashpoint

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Border disputes between the two nations have been ongoing since May this year following military clashes from both sides on the North-Eastern border of Sikkim.

In June, the two countries engaged in their first bloody altercation in 45 years after troops met in Galwan Valley, in Ladakh.

Around 20 Indian soldiers were killed and at least 35 Chinese, including a senior official, were confirmed dead, according to local reports from each side.

Now, two Indian officials have accused Chinese troops of saying a network of fibre optic cables at a western Himalayan flashpoint.

The officials claim Beijing was planning a long haul stay despite talks aimed at resolving a standoff in the region.

One said: “Our biggest worry is that they have laid optical fibre cables for high-speed communications.

“They have been laying optical fibre cables on the southern bank at breakneck speed.”

The second Indian official said authorities noted similar cables to the north of the Pangong Tso lake about a month ago.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry denied any claims the cable network.

Wang Wenbin said: “As far as I know, the relevant report is not true.”

These cables would provide forward troops with lines of communication to bases at the rear.

It is believed the cables have been spotted to the south of the lake in Ladakh, a senior government official said.

A former Indian military intelligence official said the cables offered secure communications as well as the ability to send data such as pictures and documents.

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He said: “If you speak on radio, it can get caught.

“Communications on optical fibre cables is secure.”

According to reports, thousands of Indian and Chinese troops – backed by tanks and aircraft – are locked in a stalemate along a 70km-long front to the south of the lake.

Both sides have continually accused each other of escalating the tension along the border.

Yesterday, a third Indian official said the situation was as “tense as earlier” despite the two foreign ministers meeting last week.

Relations between the countries have grown increasing strained over the last three decades.

Several rounds of talks have been held in an attempt to resolve the ongoing dispute but with no success.

In 2017, the two countries clashed over China’s attempt to extend a border road through a disputed plateau.

Only once has there been an outright war between Beijing and New Delhi.

In 1962, India suffered a devastating defeat to China.

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