New Delhi: At a time when India and China are engaged in a standoff near eastern Ladakh, Beijing is planning to build a new highway along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to strengthen its strategic position, PTI reported quoting Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post. The highway will be from Lhunze county in Tibet to Mazha in Kashgar.
As China seeks to revive its faltering economy, the highway is among 345 development plans proposed in the new national program, which aims to build 461,000 km of highway and motorway by 2035, the report said.
According to the reports, Lhunze county formed part of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as part of South Tibet.
Under the latest plan of highway construction, the G695 is supposed to go through Cona county – which lies north of the LAC, Kamba province lining bordering and Gyirong district close to the boundary with Nepal, the report said.
The planned road would likewise go through Burang district between Tibet, Nepal and India as well as Zanda region in Ngari prefecture, it said.
The road, when completed, may also go near contested areas such as the Depsang Plains, Galwan Valley and Hot Springs on the LAC, the report said. There was no official reaction in India to the news report in the Hong Kong media.
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Earlier, the 16th round of talks between the Indian and Chinese military commanders, to end the more than two-year-long stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, concluded around 10 pm on Sunday, according to reports. As per reports, the two sides are believed to have discussed the issue of disengagement of troops at patrolling point PP-15, popularly known as Hot Springs, at the 16th round of Corps Commander-level talks.
The discussion was held at the Indian side of the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point. Commander of 14 Corps, Lt General A Sengupta led the Indian delegation for the talks which commenced at 9.30 in the morning.
It is to be noted that the effort to resume discussions for easing the tense situation following the military stand-off in May 2020, was initiated by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, during an engagement with Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi, at Bali, early this month, on the sidelines of the G-20 Foreign Ministers summit.
“Recalling the disengagement achieved in some friction areas, the external affairs minister reiterated the need to sustain the momentum to complete disengagement from all the remaining areas to restore peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement after the meeting.
The last round of talks between the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was held on March 11.