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More PLA activity in key sectors on eastern front

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has intensified patrolling in sensitive areas across the contested border in Arunachal Pradesh after a lingering standoff with India began last year in the Ladakh sector, and has ramped up area domination patrols for surveillance and orientation of newly inducted troops with a noticeable increase in visits by senior PLA officers to forward areas to supervise military activities, data accessed by Hindustan Times shows.

The sectors across which the Indian Army has detected PLA’s increased operational tempo include Lungro La, Zimithang and Bum La — areas of high historical significance in the context of Chinese aggression in the eastern sector — and counter measures have been taken to boost India’s readiness to handle any contingency, three senior officers monitoring Chinese activities in the North-East said on condition of anonymity.

An activity matrix prepared by the Indian Army to summarise the latest developments in the Lungro La sector showed PLA carried out 90 patrols in the area from January 2020 to October 2021 (hereinafter referred to as 2020-21) compared to about 40 between January 2018 and December 2019 (hereinafter referred to as 2018-19). This more than doubling of PLA patrols has been attributed by the army to the “current operational situation”.

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