Chinese military installed a fibre optic network in remote areas of the western Himalayas region, during the height of the border standoff with India in 2020, for increased protection from foreign interception, a Pentagon report said on Wednesday.
A new report titled “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2021”, details how “acute tensions and clashes along the border with India resulted in significant PLA force buildup and establishment or enforcement of forward positions along the Line of Actual Control.”
“At the height of the border standoff between the PRC and India in 2020, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) installed a fibre optic network in remote areas of the western Himalayas to provide faster communications and increased protection from foreign interception,” the report said.
According to the report, PLA field commanders view near-real-time ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) and situational data as well as redundant and reliable communications as essential to streamlining decision-making processes and shortening response timelines.
Pentagon report said the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party have tasked the PLA to develop the capability to project power outside the country’s borders and immediate periphery to secure Beijing’s growing overseas interests and advance its foreign policy goals.
CCP leaders believe that China’s global activities, including the PLA’s growing global presence, are necessary to create an international environment conducive to the PRC’s “national rejuvenation,” according to Pentagon.
It further says Beijing has employed a more coercive approach to deal with several disputes over maritime features and ownership of potentially rich offshore oil and gas deposits.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, border clashes with India, and other significant events in 2020, the Chinese army accelerated its training and fielding of equipment from the already fast pace of recent years, the report said.
Chinese military units conducted extensive combined arms and joint training throughout 2020, Pentagon said.
“Significant training likely prepared the PLAA for any escalation of border tensions with India, as well as preparing to support a Taiwan contingency. The PLAA also strove to increase the realism of its training and the effectiveness of Opposition Force (OPFOR) units,” it added.