Chinese People’s Liberation Army maps Ladakh, MEA silent

Bharti Jasrotia

Union Ministry of External Affairs On Friday advised to shut shop in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) but did not utter a single word about reports of Chinese army using expert to develop accurate 3-D maps of the strategic locations of Ladakh.

The ministry talked about China doing too much in POK but forgot that Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been both terrorizing the nomadic people on the higher reaches of Ladakh besides repeatedly trying to enter Ladakh. If the reports appearing in Chinese media are to be believed, the Chinese military has employed both men and machinery to keep track of all the strategic locations in Ladakh.

These reports claim that china has managed to produce most accurate 3-D maps of Aksai Chin and other strategic locations in Ladakh. The maps have been prepared by ‘Measuring and mapping information centre’ which is under Lanzhou Military Area Command (MAC) of People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

This center works as strategic geographical arm of Chinese army. Lanzhou Military Area Command (MAC) includes 21st and 47th Combined Corps (earlier known as Group Armies) and is responsible for operations on Ladakh border. Claim has been made by commissioner of the centre Xu Shimin on official website of Defence ministry of China ‘http: //’.

The claim is startling in the wake of aggressive behaviour of the Chinese military especially interference in road construction which has resulted in increasing number of skirmishes on Indo-China Line of Actual Control (LAC). The research team is planning to use 3D printer to develop more 3D models for different operational areas.

The highly detailed models would help commanders to make good decisions and are of particular value in military applications, said an official of the Lanzhou MAC. A research team had been dedicated to upgrade map by improving the precision of the A4-sized 3D topographic map from the previous 1.0 mm to present 0.1 mm, and shortening the printing time from the previous 24 hours to 8 hours.

The research team which prepared the map was led by Wang Mingxiao. Measuring and mapping information centre has used world-advanced 3D printing technology in topographic map-making and successfully developed China’s first 3D topographic map on November 20, 2013. Compared with the traditional man-made sand tables, the latest 3D topographic map has lighter weight and portability, claims the website.

Obsolete maps have been used as the printing materials instead of professional and expensive printing materials such as gypsums. It has cut down the cost to the maximum and made the map highly promotable. 3-d maps clearly indicate Chinese troops posted in the Aksai Chin and other parts of Ladakh possess the most accurate maps of these disputed areas.

Experts say that china’s road and rail infrastructure allows it the major advantage of being able to move troops rapidly, even from other MACs. This would permit PLAA to quickly concentrate a large number of troops in a small area, attack and overwhelm the Indian defenders at that point. Since the roads are poor and railways non-existent on this side, the Indian Army would find it difficult to move defenders as quickly to the threatened sector.


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