India incursion and Chinese standoff at Dolam, Bhutan


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I found something cool (slightly off topic LOL): was curious what's the
mountain in
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located the picture

in
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高原上的士官晋升军衔仪式,气势如虹组图: 6/6


then the mountain:
Yarlha Shampo (6636m)
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climbed for the first time only in 2007?!
at 28.800; 91.965° so relatively close to Lhasa:
 

kurutoga

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Yarlha Shampo (6636m)
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climbed for the first time only in 2007?!
A few of these peaks are "gods" to the locals so the climbing permit are hard to get. The well known Mount Kailash, in particular, only one climbing permit was issued in history. And that climber (from UK) after his research decided not to climb due to respect. So that one has never been climbed.

During the doklam conflict, China cut off the only route to Mount Kailash, which is also a sacred place for Hinduism.
 

siegecrossbow

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China and India faced off last year in a tense
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on the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC) high in the Himalayas. Although the impasse was temporarily resolved in late August through a negotiated drawdown, it has been clear all along that the LAC will remain a contentious border because both countries will continue to seek an advantage in
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.

Recent reporting, particularly in the Indian press, has highlighted how India and China are
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along the LAC, including through the stationing of additional ground units near the plateau. Satellite imagery acquired by Stratfor working with its partners at AllSource Analysis helps illuminate the scope of these developments by looking at the air and air defense aspects of this strengthening of forces. Specifically, the analysis looks at four critical air bases, two Chinese and two Indian, that are within range of the Doklam Plateau. The imagery confirms that both China and India are pursuing a wide-ranging strategic buildup that has only accelerated in the wake of the Aug. 27 agreement.



The View From India
On the Indian side of the border, imagery of the Siliguri Bagdogra air base and the Hasimara Air Force Station depicts how India has moved to reinforce its air power close to the Doklam Plateau. Siliguri Bagdogra normally hosts a transport helicopter unit while Hasimara was the base for MiG-27ML ground attack aircraft until they were retired at the end of 2017. Since the Doklam crisis of mid-2017, however, the Indian Air Force has greatly increased the deployment of Su-30MKI warplanes to these air bases as can be seen from the imagery. The Su-30MKI is India's premier fighter jet, and it will soon be capable of striking land targets with the advanced BrahMos cruise missile. Furthermore, Indian reports indicate that a squadron of the recently purchased Rafale multirole fighters may soon be home-based at Hasimara. The dispatch of these top-of-the-line Indian jets and airfield improvements at both stations highlight India's determination to improve its force structure near the Doklam Plateau.




On the Chinese Side
An even greater level of activity is visible from imagery of the Chinese air bases near Lhasa and Shigatse. This expansion may indicate a greater buildup by the Chinese, but it could also reflect the more advanced facilities at these bases. Furthermore, unlike India, China's lack of air bases close to the LAC forces it to
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at these airports.

Imagery of the two air bases shows a significant presence of fighter aircraft (which peaked in October) and a notable increase in helicopters, as well as deployments of KJ-500 airborne early warning and command aircraft, components of the HQ-9 long-range surface-to-air missile system and Soar Dragon unmanned aerial vehicles at Shigatse Peace Airport. The Chinese made a number of major airfield upgrades at Shigatse immediately after the end of the crisis. A new runaway was constructed by mid-December, nine aircraft aprons measuring 41 meters by 70 meters were built along the main taxiway and eight helipads were set up in the northeast corner of the airfield. This construction, along with the deployment of new equipment in greater numbers, highlights how China has undertaken a serious effort to improve its capabilities close to the LAC.


Do we know which variant of J-10 is deployed?
 
Well we know what will be the outcome of this stand off. Where before there is none now China built permanent garrison in Doklam and the road building will continue only this time it will be escorted by the army. No this guy Brahma Chellaney who crow India has won maybe crow too fast
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China’s troop buildup in Doklam means India can’t protect Bhutan
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18 January, 2018
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China fanbois and China threat mongers, sometimes they sound the same...
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Doklam blues, again

A fortnight ago, the government did the smart thing by distancing itself ostentatiously from the “mischievous” media reports that appeared totally out of the blue to the effect that China has beefed up its military presence on the Doklam Plateau. The reports, based on satellite imagery, estimated that the PLA deployment is “close to the face-off point” last year on the Doklam Plateau; it’s on large scale and signaled permanent deployment; and, highlighted an augmented capability to undertake future activities at short notice in the contested area in south Doklam.

The MEA clarified that “status quo at the face-off site” has not been altered by China. The intriguing part was about the expression “mischievous” to refer to the media reports. Of course, the media reports were unduly alarmist and their source remained undisclosed. How far the reports were orchestrated from behind the scenes is hard to say but India-China border tensions are mostly like smoke and mirrors and various interest groups keep generating the smoke for their own nefarious purposes.

Interestingly, once the MEA debunked the reports (which coincided with the visit of the head of the US Pacific Command Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr.), they died a sudden death. But that turns out to be a tactical retreat. On January 25, more ‘satellite imagery’ has appeared – this time around, presented by none other than Stratfor, which is commonly associated with the US security establishment.

The imagery makes out that both India and China are strengthening their forces in the border hinterland of the Doklam Plateau and are “pursuing a wide-ranging strategic build up that has only accelerated in the wake of the Aug. 27 agreement” defusing the standoff. The Stratfor analysis concludes: “Now it is only a question of time until a new flashpoint along the LAC emerges, and as the increased activity shows, both sides will have greater capabilities to bring to bear next time.”

Stratfor has a chequered history of floating exaggerated reports regarding Russia, too. Most of them fit into the category of ‘psywar’. But it is useful to read them, if only to make out the American intentions. Isn’t it common sense that upgrade of defence preparedness is what is expected of armed forces, especially along a disputed border? The deployment of the advanced aircraft in the air bases in question (on the Indian side at least) predates Doklam standoff. Yet, just look at how Stratfor links it to Doklam and proceeds to forecast a “new flashpoint”!

No doubt, this is a high stakes game. For the US, fueling tensions between India and China is a key objective of their regional strategies. So many factors come into play here – India’s reluctance to be shepherded into the ‘Quad’; arms exports to India; Afghanistan; containment strategy against China; ‘America First’ and so on.

At the slightest sign of an easing of tensions in India-China relations, the Americans will step up. They probably sense that it is necessary to do so at the present juncture when the US-Indian ties are in a state of limbo, especially with the impending change of the foreign secretary in South Block and incipient signs suggesting that there could be new thinking at the leadership level. Certainly, a robust, forward-looking, ‘bilateral’ engagement between India and ASEAN with focus on trade and investment is not what the US would like to see happening at a time when it is muddying the waters in the South China Sea. (See my piece in Asia Times, Modi resets India’s foreign-policy priorities.)

Basically, the Americans have the upper hand in this shadow play — not only because they control the information order but also because the level of mutual understanding and trust and confidence between New Delhi and Beijing is woefully insufficient. India’s ambassador to China, Gautam Bambawale touched on these sensitive aspects of the India-China relations during an interview with the Global Times newspaper this week. Evidently, the ambassador played down the Doklam standoff and warned against “blowing it out of proportion.” Having said that, he also underscored that there are “some sensitive points” in the India-China border areas where “it is important not to change the status quo. We need to be clear about this.”

On the whole, Ambassador Bambawale exuded cautious optimism: “We need to be talking and communicating with each other much more than we are doing. Such communication should be frank, candid and open. If we are able to do so successfully, we will understand each other much better and we will build trust and confidence in each other. With enhanced trust and understanding will come a stronger partnership between India and China. I would like to say that India and China are partners in development and progress. We are not rivals.” (The transcript of the interview is here.)

By M K Bhadrakumar – January 26, 2018
 

Hendrik_2000

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China fanbois and China threat mongers, sometimes they sound the same...
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I don't know why you call me fanboi I never advocating war between India and China if anything I always held the peaceful and thriving Russian - China border as one that India should emulate

But the fact is that India is the one who cross the border and initiate this dispute and triggering China's response to fortify the border that is a fact.Where there is no permanent post now there is one

I always respect Ambassador Bradhakumar as sane and moderate voices in Indian politic But he is voice in the wilderness among hysteric media clamoring for revanche. India is not dragged kicking and screaming into the Quad She is willing partner so blaming Stratford is disingenuous and dishonest
All is not well at the border between India and China This article is an attempt to sweep it under the rug It won't solve the problem instead of facing the problem squarely
India under congress party take an equal distant but India under Modi take decisivily western tilt
This photo tell it all
upload_2018-1-28_20-21-36.png
 
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I don't know why you call me fanboi I never advocating war between India and China if anything I always held the peaceful and thriving Russian - China border as one that India should emulate

But the fact is that India is the one who cross the border and initiate this dispute and triggering China's response to fortify the border that is a fact.Where there is no permanent post now there is one

I always respect Ambassador Bradhakumar as sane and moderate voices in Indian politic But he is voice in the wilderness among hysteric media clamoring for revanche. India is not dragged kicking and screaming into the Quad She is willing partner so blaming Stratford is disingenuous and dishonest
All is not well at the border between India and China This article is an attempt to sweep it under the rug It won't solve the problem instead of facing the problem squarely
India under congress party take an equal distant but India under Modi take decisivily western tilt
This photo tell it all
View attachment 45158
I didn't mean for it to be a personal attack. My point is that the tone and spin of excessively pro-China and excessively anti-China positions sometimes end up matching and only creates or worsens bad feelings which is likely to have a disproportionate effect when as the MKB piece points out there is already a general lack of communication and understanding, not to mention third parties actively looking to stir up trouble. This is not sweeping the issue under the rug at all but further addressing the hearts and minds aspect balancing steering the bigger strategic picture in a constructive direction while managing (including via deterrence and brinksmanship) flare-ups from persistent disagreements.
 

Hendrik_2000

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As I said now they permanently based fighter squadron close to the border area

Tibet sees sharp jump in Chinese air force activity after Doklam standoff with India
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14 February, 2018
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Vinayak Bhat/ThePrint
Dual-use airports see 2-4 fold traffic increase; fighter jets and early warning aircraft deployed in the region permanently.

New Delhi: There has been a significant spurt in Chinese air force activities in Tibet since last year’s standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam. Air traffic at dual-use airports has gone up even as the Chinese air force has deployed combat assets permanently in the region.

This is part of a pattern of China stepping up its military presence in the region in the aftermath of the bitter standoff with India in the tri-junction area near Bhutan. ThePrint had
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that Beijing has almost completely taken control of the northern side of the disputed plateau and deployed armoured vehicles and built seven helipads.

‘Flight Radar’ data shows a sudden jump in air traffic in Tibet in December and January. Flights at most airports in Tibet have increased two fold since the Doklam stand-off.

The analysis of data of the last one year shows three big changes. First, that in the months of October and December 2017 as well as January 2018 there has been a sudden jump in air traffic. Second, a new flight has been scheduled from Lhasa to Ngari (Shiquanhe) in January. And finally, flights that reached the periphery of Tibet have now been extended up to Lhasa in October and December 2017.

One factor could be that tourism has been subsidised in Tibet and that more cargo is arriving on a daily basis. However, given the modernisation and upgradation of the dual-use airports as well as the creation of new heliports by the PLA, there are strong indications of a military preparation that can’t be called a routine affair.

China, which has five operational airports in Tibet, upgraded four of them last year. Two of these are now being used for testing its most modern and stealth aircraft.

Lhasa Gonggar Airport
After the Doklam stand-off, at least two KJ-500 AEW aircraft have been observed permanently deployed here. Satellite images of October 2017 showed 20 J-11s, eight J-10s, eight Mi-171V and two KJ-500 AEW aircraft at the airport, making it more of a military airbase.

The Gonggar airport is the largest airport in Tibet supporting the capital city of Lhasa. It has been renovated and upgraded time and again over the past decade. The recent upgrade suggests that these are mainly to enhance the fighting capability of the Chinese air force in Tibet.

In the past two years, only fourth generation aircraft like the J-11s and J-10s were visible in this airport during training exercises. They used to be deployed on rotational basis from different airbases supporting operations in Tibet. But after November 2016, the fighter aircraft have been more or less permanently deployed.

Satcom vehicles with dish antennae along with ground controls system vehicles have also been observed, suggesting that UAV links are being monitored from this airport and it has capability to handle those UAVs.

Recent activity at the airport suggests that the construction of a heavy military grade third airstrip is underway. They also suggest an underground facility is likely to be created about 1,750 m south of the airport, most probably for storing ammunition.
upload_2018-2-15_8-5-20.png

Vinayak Bhat/ThePrint
Shigatse Airbase
In August 2017, a lone UAV, probably a Winglong 1, was observed. Later, only Soar Dragons were observed at this airbase. These suggest that the medium-altitude long endurance or MALE UAV could not be operated successfully possibly due to harsh atmosphere and hence, a high-altitude long endurance or HALE UAV was operated successfully.

The Shigatse airport has recently been converted into an airbase, making it out of bounds for all civil flights. Construction of an additional airstrip is in progress on the western side of the main airstrip, likely to be used for UAV operations.

There are nine new aprons and eight new helipads recently constructed on the airbase, one of the satellite images suggests. The support buildings are used for accommodations of the staff.


Vinayak Bhat/ThePrint
Qamdo Bamda Airport
The Bamda airport was upgraded with a longer runway last year. But after the Doklam stand-off, another airstrip has been added to its eastern side. The additional airstrip would give this airport capability to take off and land aircraft in tandem.


Vinayak Bhat/ThePrint
Nyingchi Airport
The Nyingchi airport apron and lounge have been extended along with provision of four jet bridges. This suggests that Nyingchi is preparing for heavier traffic in the coming days. An additional aviation fuel point has been constructed with two large storage tanks.


Vinayak Bhat/ThePrint
 
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Hendrik_2000

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(cont)
New Heliports
Three new heliports have been constructed in Tibet recently. The Lhasa and Ngari (Shiquanhe) heliports have come up last year. Some construction activity has been observed at the Cona township. But it is difficult to assess the exact size and shape due to lack of high-resolution images.

These heliports can accommodate a light helicopter (LH) regiment easily. Two of the heliports at Nyingchi and Cona have been built over the British-era helipads.
upload_2018-2-15_8-3-43.png
 

KlRc80

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I have a some thoughts to share purely for discussion purpose. It is not my wish to trigger any ill will between the international visitors of this forum. I apologise in advance if ill will eventually plays out.

Could this build-up of military aviation assets and deployment etc. be a deliberate and calculated action by China that's simply to test China's new hardware (drones, fighter jets and their sub-systems etc.)? Meaning it's actually a "benign" action where China is just trying to have a real life and actual "test" of her new military assets. By "test" I mean in terms of testing their ISR drones, AEW planes and deployment of various new sub-systems to see how they work together to discover bugs, knots and problems as well as the logistical aspects etc. By "test" I do not mean to actually shoot any bullets and missiles.

By "benign" I mean it is an action to test China's assets and not to plan to actually grab any land or deliberately act aggressive to her neighbours. Though such actions WILL be seen as aggressive by her neighbours, it could be seen as a level of "friction with neighbours" that's acceptable to incur in return for the ability to test China's new military aviation assets as long as no real bullets or missiles are fired.

In other words to gain as real world experience as possible without actually firing any bullets. Plus these actions will foreseeably trigger a reply buildup on the Indian side and be a chance for China's ISR assets to get a close glimpse of Indian assets. Of course this cuts both ways. India's ISR assets would be able to sniff out China's assets too.

China has been actively churning out military drones, AEW planes, and other systems these past few years. Simulations and testing can only get you so far. It will be difficult to simulate the element of uncertainty and operational surprises in simulations. China is producing many drones for export and need real "field feedback" in order to fine tune their designs.

Therefore my guess that this military build-up is primarily as a way to test out these new assets rather than to act aggressive as a primary motive (though it will be seen as aggressive, regardless and logically so by her neighbours).
 
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