As the India-China standoff continues in Eastern Ladakh, sources say People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has further increased its troops along the Line of Actual Control, (LAC) even as India is keeping a close watch on their movement. Also, Chinese fighters were seen flying 30- 35 km from Eastern Ladakh, they added. “The Chinese have kept a fleet of around 10-12 fighter aircraft stationed there (at their bases in Hotan and Gargunsa) at the moment and they are also carrying out flying activity close to the Indian territory.
We are keeping a close eye on the movement of these J-11 and J-7 fighter aircraft,” sources told ANI. Their fighter aircraft have been carrying out sorties from air bases in Hotan and Gargunsa and fly 30-35 km from our territory in Ladakh region, they said. Sources said they are more than the 10-km distance from the Indian areas as per the international norms. India had scrambled its Su30 MKI in the first week in May when an Indian Army chopper and Chinese chopper were close to each other in the air.
The Hotan base has been under the surveillance of the Indian agencies for quite some time now as the Pakistanis have been holding aerial exercise with the PLA Air Force there. “Last year also, we had closely monitored a movement of six Pakistani JF-17s that flew from the Skardu airfield opposite the western side of Ladakh in Pakistan occupied-Kashmir to Hotan where they took part in an exercise named Shaheen-8,” they said.
On the Indian side also, the unmanned aerial vehicles of the Ladakh-based Surveillance and Target Acquisition batteries of defence forces and intelligence agencies are using their Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to carry out extensive reconnaissance of both sides of the LAC and Chinese positions along the Galwan Nala, the sources said. With agency inputs