China has long mocked India with videos and news reports suggesting that the latter is incapable of having its army serve in the sub-zero temperatures of the Himalayas, amid the border stand-off.
But in a first, Chinese news website has published a video purportedly showing the Indian army’s smart camps with integrated facilities in the Ladakh sector.
The Indian Army has deployed thousands of troops in the Ladakh region, where the temperature dips to -40 degrees Celsius, and the area receives up to 40 feet of snow. The video published by the Chinese media was first shared by the Indian army.
An army statement had said: “Apart from the smart camps with integrated facilities which have been built over the years, an additional state-of-the-art habitat with integrated arrangements for electricity, water, heating facilities, health, and hygiene have been recently created to accommodate the troops”.
The Chinese website has mentioned all these details in the video. The text in the video states: “Apart from building multi-functionality smart camps over years, residential areas have also come up recently which include facilities such as electricity, water supply, heating, healthcare, and sanitation, etc.”
The Indian Army has revealed the same in a statement. It said that troops on the front line are accommodated in heated tents as per the tactical considerations of their deployment.
Earlier in September when India had begun deployment of its troops, China’s state-owned media Global Times had said in a report that India’s tall claims about its preparation in Ladakh are part of its psychological warfare when in reality, “neither the transportation nor the supplies of the Indian army in the glacier-covered region is as good as India claims”.
Quoting director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute of Tsinghua University in Beijing Qian Feng, it said “weather and terrain in Ladakh are the major challenges for large-scale military operations in winter, which requires smooth and quick logistical support and medical supplies” and “India is short in this area”.
The report underlines that “there are no complete railways to the Ladakh area, and the roads are not good enough to swiftly transfer soldiers. The Indian army uses military transport planes to fortify the number of soldiers and tanks to the border areas.”
State-owned media Global Times boasts of the People’s Liberation Army’s capabilities to fight a war in the sub-zero temperatures and the available logistics in the Himalayan region in spite of difficult terrain.
China Central Television had reported that “using civilian airlines, logistical transportation channels, and railways, several thousand paratroopers under a PLA Air Force airborne brigade recently maneuvered from Hubei to an undisclosed location in the plateaus of northwestern China thousands of kilometers away”.
The Chinese experts had told GT that this demonstrated China’s capability of quickly reinforcing border defenses when necessary. GT often releases videos of Chinese troops carrying out logistical support ops in the region.
China recently released a documentary on its border defense soldiers stationed in Ngari, near the Line of Actual Control with India, at an elevation of 5,681 meters. Footage shows the troops carrying out logistical support. pic.twitter.com/ShMLbkmYVz
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) October 21, 2020
India and China have been locked in a border stand-off since the first week of May but there is no disengagement in sight despite several rounds of military and diplomatic level talks. The troops of both armies are now standing guard in the sub-zero temperatures.