World War 3: China’s troops massing on India border – new satellite images

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Satellite images indicate Beijing has set up bunkers, tents and storage units for military hardware close to the site of the deadly June 15 clash. A short walk away,a potential new camp under construction with walls or barricades can also be seen.

The structures have been set up despite India and China agreeing to deescalate tensions on the border.

In the violent outbreak earlier this month, Indian and Chinese soldier fought in hand-to-hand combat with both sides suffering multiple casualties.

Nirupama Rao, who served as India’s ambassador to China between 2006 to 2009, described the moment as “a turning point in the bilateral relations”.

It was the first deadly clash between the two countries in at least 45 years.

Since then tensions between the two Asian powers have continued surge, with both sides blaming the other for the conflict.

Now, these new satellite images appear to show Beijing is not backing down on its clash with Delhi.

The images show a number of new structures which were not visible in May.

Neither nation has commented on the new pictures.

Former Indian diplomat P Stobdan has described the latest development as “worrying”.

He told the BBC: “The Indian government has not released any pictures or made a statement, so it’s hard to assess.

“But the images released by private firms show that the Chinese have built infrastructure and have not retreated.”

It is believed the new military structures were erected after the border clash.

The images have been released just days after India and China held talks on how to de-escalate tensions on the disputed border.

The dispute earlier this month took place along The Line of Actual Control.

Skirmishes have broken out at the border before and the two sides fought a war in 1962 over the Himalayan border.

No official border has ever been negotiated and rivers, lakes and snowcaps mean the line can shift over time.

Talks have been held on several occasions over the past three decades to try and resolve the border dispute but to no avail.

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In a glimmer of hope that China could yet abandon the new structures, it is understood in their bilateral talks Beijing and Delhi agreed to withdraw from contentious areas on the border.

One source told local media: “There will be gradual de-escalation that would take place.

“The forces will move back a particular distance in all areas of friction.”

Another senior official said: “Both sides will continue the dialogue to iron out their differences on the border diplomatically and work towards removing any friction between the two armies.

“The process is going to be long drawn out and hence, we have to be patient for a peaceful outcome.”

However, Nathan Ruser, a satellite data expert at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the buildup suggested there was little sign of de-escalation.

He urged caution from India, warning there was little sign China was interested in de-escalation.

Mr Ruser wrote on Twitter: “Satellite imagery from the Galwan Valley on June 22nd shows that ‘disengagement’ really isn’t the word that the Indian government should be using.”

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