Report – Satellite images show huge scale of damage to Tibetan Buddhist site Larung Gar

Report – Satellite images show huge scale of damage to Tibetan Buddhist site Larung Gar
October 23, 2017

Free Tibet/Tibet Watch, October 19, 2017 – A new joint report by Free Tibet and Tibet Watch captures the scale of destruction caused to Tibet’s Larung Gar Buddhist Academy. “Destroying Heaven: China’s campaign of destruction at Larung Gar”, is being launched on the one-year anniversary of the International Day of Action for Larung Gar (1), which saw protests around the world against a programme of demolitions and forced evictions that has seen almost 5,000 residents forced out of their homes since July 2016.

Larung Gar Buddhist Institute, also known as Larung Gar Five Sciences Buddhist Academy, is located in Serthar County, in eastern Tibet (2). It is one of the largest and most significant Tibetan Buddhist sites in the world. It is ordinarily home to anywhere between 10,000 and 40,000 people, including monks, nuns and visiting students.

In June 2016, the Chinese authorities issued an order dictating that Larung Gar’s population was to be reduced to 5,000 residents (3). The homes of those evicted from the site would also be demolished. Residents were not consulted about this plan before the order was issued.

The report captures the results of this order and its effects on the residents. It utilises research from contacts inside Tibet, testimonies from residents, photos from inside Larung Gar and satellite imagery from before and after the demolitions were launched in July 2016. The report reveals how at least 4,725 homes have been reduced to rubble in a process that has also resulted in at least 4,800 residents being forced to leave their homes.

The images, acquired from US-based satellite specialists Apollo Mapping (4), reveal how houses were torn down to widen roads, create new pathways or clear space around religious buildings. The pathway of destruction corroborates claims by residents that the demolitions and forced removals have been implemented to facilitate tourist access to Larung Gar.

The report concludes by highlighting the need for strong international pressure on China to halt the damage being caused to Larung Gar. There has already been widespread international condemnation of the demolitions, mainly from international bodies like the United Nations and European Union, MPs and human rights groups, as well as Tibetans (5). However, the report states that this pressure will need to intensify and come from governments themselves if it is to convince Beijing to desist from further harm to Larung Gar and its residents. The report adds that other Buddhist sites, such as Yarchen Gar in eastern Tibet (6), are at risk if governments fail to act.

Free Tibet and Tibet Watch director Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren said:

“In July 2016, Larung Gar was transformed from a place of quiet religious contemplation and study into a scene of devastation. Since then, each person forced from their home, each house torn down has been another scar that its residents have been forced to live with. Beijing’s attempts to reduce this important site to a mere tourist destination make this destruction even more heart-breaking.”

“A site of learning and devotion is being turned to rubble and the lives of its residents are now characterised by violence and instability. This reckless, destructive policy must not go unanswered. Governments around the world must up the pressure on China and make it change course before this site and everything that made it special is scarred beyond all repair.”

The full report can be downloaded at https://www.freetibet.org/files/Larung%20Gar%20report-web.pdf .

Active, aggressive and abusive: China’s attitude toward the United Nations

Active, aggressive and abusive: China’s attitude toward the United Nations
October 16, 2017

Central Tibetan Administration, October 13, 2017 – The United Nations’ efforts to uphold its principles of promoting and protecting human rights are jolted by repeated interventions from Beijing. The effect of China obtruding at the UN is felt around the world.

At the recently concluded meeting of Office of Tibet representatives held in Dharamshala, India, the EU, UN and Human Rights Desk of the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) described China’s interaction at various levels of UN agencies as ‘active, aggressive, and abusive.’

While leading a discussion on Tibet at the United Nations: Strengthening Human Rights , Ngodup Dorjee, Representative of Office of Tibet, Switzerland, and Kalden Tsomo, head of the EU, UN and Human Rights Desk at DIIR, gave a comprehensive presentation titled ‘Tibet at the UN: Strengthening Advocacy for Human Rights in Tibet‘.

Citing latest cases where the Chinese government pressured UN member states such as the United States and Canada to retract their decision to host His Holiness the Dalai Lama at a side event running parallel to the 31st Human Rights Council session, Ngodup Dorjee remarked that the ultimate goal of the Chinese government’s interactions with the UN is directed towards reducing space and scope for civil societies at the UN. He also expressed concern regarding China’s tactics to bar NGOs critical of the government, particularly by deferring their applications for UN ECOSOC consultative status.

Currently, China is the top third contributing country in the UN regular budget and the second largest contributor in UN Peacekeeping operations. China’s active engagement at the UN, particularly at the Human Rights Council, has vested interests. The Communist government is diligent in assuring that no China-specific resolution is passed; minimal criticism is raised; and also to seize for itself a membership seat at the Council.

Kalden Tsomo further outlined the key issues of the Tibet UN advocacy in the next few years. “In the coming three years, issues at the core of the Tibet-UN advocacy framework will be religious freedom, the enforced disappearance of Tibet’s 11th Panchen Lama, human rights defenders and economic social and cultural rights in Tibet,” she said.

The UN member states will review China’s human rights record in its third cycle of the Universal Period Review next year in November. Pressing the importance of the review, all the representatives of the Offices of Tibet were urged to amplify their lobbying campaigns and to meticulously coordinate with one another to insure a meaningful, thorough and productive review of China.

The session was concluded with the consensus to strengthen Tibet advocacy at all international fora including the UN.

Prince Charles to miss State banquet with Chinese president at Buckingham Palace

Prince Charles to miss State banquet with Chinese president at Buckingham Palace
October 16, 2017

By Gordon Rayner

The Telegraph, October 14, 2017 – The Prince of Wales will miss next week’s State banquet in honour of the Chinese president in an apparent snub to the country’s Communist leaders.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that while the Prince will meet President Xi Jinping several times during the course of the State visit, he will be absent from the centrepiece white tie event at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen.

The Prince has had a troubled relationship with China for decades, partly because of his support for the disputed territory of Tibet, whose spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, he counts as a personal friend.

The Prince famously described Communist Party leaders as “appalling old waxworks” in a journal circulated to his friends when he attended the Hong Kong handover ceremony in 1997, and has never been to China.

In contrast his son, the Duke of Cambridge, made a highly successful official visit to China earlier this year, and will be at the State banquet along with the Duchess of Cambridge.

It is not the first time the Prince of Wales has snubbed the Chinese. In 1999 he was absent from a banquet held at the Chinese Embassy in London in honour of the Queen, then in 2005 he boycotted the official banquet during the last State visit by a Chinese leader. In 2008 he refused to attend the Olympic Games in Beijing.

However Clarence House was anxious to make clear that the Prince will attend several other events during the State visit, which begins on Tuesday, October 20.

He will greet the Chinese delegation at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London on Tuesday morning and will attend a formal welcome on Horse Guards Parade and a luncheon later that day, as well as entertaining President Xi for tea at Clarence House in the afternoon.

Sources have indicated he will then travel to Scotland, and the Duke of York will attend four engagements with President Xi on Wednesday and Thursday.

President Xi and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan will stay at Buckingham Palace during their visit.

Clarence House declined to provide any explanation for why the Prince will be unable to attend the banquet.

A statement from Clarence House said: “The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall have significant involvement in the State Visit by The President of The People’s Republic of China,” before listing the engagements he will carry out.

ABC Australia: Chinese Government intrusion into Western universities sparks push for collective action

ABC Australia: Chinese Government intrusion into Western universities sparks push for collective action

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-15/chinese-intrusion-on-western-universities-sparks-action/9048456?pfmredir=sm

The fear of Chinese Government intrusion into Western universities is sparking a push by Australia’s closest allies for a more coordinated response to Beijing’s aggressive tactics.

Key points:
• Five Eyes partners considering collective response to threat of foreign interference
• Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warns Australian universities needed to be resilient
• Australia is taking a leading role in the discussions

Having observed attacks on academic freedoms in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — discussions have begun in diplomatic and security circles about whether the Five Eyes intelligence partners should respond collectively to the threat, so there are no “weak links” which can be exploited.

So far nothing formal has been proposed but senior national security figures have told the ABC Australia is taking a “leading role” in publicly highlighting the situation.

The concerns over China’s activities were brought starkly into focus last week in a rare public speech by the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Frances Adamson, who warned Australian universities needed to be resilient to foreign interference.

“The silencing of anyone in our society from students to lecturers to politicians is an affront to our values,” Ms Adamson told the Confucius Institute at Adelaide University.

Her contribution has been noted by senior government figures and the diplomatic community as a deliberate and important acknowledgement of the gravity of the situation.

Ms Adamson’s intervention is the latest in a series of tougher statements from Australian officials condemning Beijing’s activities, which began with the Prime Minister’s comments on the South China Sea during the Shangri-La dialogue in June.

“Australia is giving China what it wants in terms of education for its students — so it’s time for the Federal Government to insist the Chinese comply with Australia’s values and interests,” a senior foreign diplomatic figure told the ABC.

The Canberra based diplomat concedes any move by Australia to clamp down on Chinese interference would need to be matched by other Five Eyes intelligence partners who compete heavily to attract the same international students to their universities.

One of the most senior national security figures in Australia says there is now a “like mindedness and shared understanding” among Five Eyes allies of how China’s pervasive and subversive influence has penetrated into each nation.

Earlier this year a Four Corners investigation revealed the extent of influence by the Chinese Communist Party on international students studying in Australia.

Last year security concerns were raised over plans to install Chinese-owned technology on a powerful supercomputer used by government agencies and Australian universities.

Top UK soccer team slammed over Tibet water sponsorship deal

Top UK soccer team slammed over Tibet water sponsorship deal
October 9, 2017

By Daniel Shane
CNN, October 6, 2017 – Has English soccer team Liverpool scored a goal with a Chinese sponsorship deal?

The high-profile club, which is owned by the same company as the Boston Red Sox, has come under fire this week from human rights campaigners who want it to ax a deal with a company that bottles mineral water from a Tibetan glacial spring.

Activist group Free Tibet slammed Liverpool’s agreement with Hong Kong-based Tibet Water Resources, highlighting allegations of human rights abuses in Tibet.

“While a deal with a company based in Tibet might sound like an attractive and exotic opportunity, the reality for the Tibetan people is very different,” said John Jones, communications manager at Free Tibet. The organization said that more than 20 other advocacy groups were backing the campaign.

Owned by U.S. company Fenway Sports, Liverpool is one of England’s most successful teams, with a history of winning major trophies both at home and in European competition. It also has a big following in Asia.

The club signed the sponsorship deal with Tibet Water in July. As part of the pact, Tibet Water gets social media support and access to Liverpool players, a club statement said. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Liverpool didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Tibet Water’s website says its bottled water is sourced from mountains in the region that rise 5,100 meters (16,700 feet) above sea level.

Free Tibet said that Tibet has become one of the most repressive places on earth under Chinese rule and that Tibetans have been given no say in how natural resources like water are used. It didn’t directly accuse Tibet Water of any specific wrongdoing.

Liverpool should cut ties with Tibet Water in order to “send a clear signal that Liverpool FC rejects any association with human rights abuses,” Jones said.

Tibet Water declined to comment on Free Tibet’s campaign against its partnership with Liverpool.

The Chinese government took control of Tibet in 1951 following a military invasion the previous year. China says Tibet has been part of its sovereign territory since the 13th century.

Tibetan nomads forced to beg after being evicted from their homes

Tibetan nomads forced to beg after being evicted from their homes
October 9, 2017

Radio Free Asia, October 6, 2017 – Tibetan nomads evicted in June from government-built housing in Qinghai’s Yulshul prefecture are now living in desolate tent settlements while their former homes are torn down to make way for Chinese development projects, local sources say.

The nomads had been forced years before from their traditional grazing areas and are now being uprooted again, a Tibetan resident of the area told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“Many who had sold their herds when they were first resettled have no way to return to their former lives, and the poorest among them have now resorted to begging in the nearby township just to make ends meet,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Chinese construction workers have already arrived in the area and have started to demolish the neighborhoods that were built for nomad resettlement,” the source said.

“If the government fails to provide new housing for them, the evicted Tibetans plan to live in their tents till next year,” he said.

Other nomadic groups who still owned livestock have already moved back under government orders to the nomadic areas from which they were originally removed, sources said.

The resettlement sites now vacated outside Yulshul’s Dzatoe (in Chinese, Zeduo) county seat under a policy announced last year will be developed as housing for Chinese government workers and tourists, sources told RFA in earlier reports.

Residents of a nomad resettlement village near Domda township in Yulshul’s Tridu (Chenduo) county have meanwhile also been forced from their homes and told to return to their native regions, sources said in June.

“Now the authorities are planning to demolish the houses built for the nomads and build housing instead for new Chinese migrants and tourists in the Domda area, which is known for its natural scenic beauty and good supplies of water and electricity,” one source said.

Reported by Kunsang Tenzin for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Richard Finney.

After nearly six decades of exile, Tibetans in India confront citizenship dilemma

After nearly six decades of exile, Tibetans in India confront citizenship dilemma
October 9, 2017

By Vidhi Doshi

Washington Post, October 9, 2017 – When Tenzin Dechen Deshar first heard that Tibetan exiles could apply for Indian passports, she agonized over the choice.

A Tibetan born in India, Deshar lived a double life. She went to an Indian boarding school but spent summers in a refugee settlement, trying to learn to read Tibetan. She watched Bollywood movies with her Indian friends but fell asleep listening to her grandmother’s stories about a Himalayan wonderland.

Deshar spent her childhood convinced that she would someday return to the land her family had left behind when Chinese forces seized control of Tibet. Then, in September 2016, the Delhi high court ruled that Tibetans born in India between 1950 and 1987 are eligible to apply for Indian passports.

The new offer of nationality presented a dilemma. Take the passport, some said, and end decades of virtual confinement to a single country. Buy a car, own a house, apply for government jobs. Others argued that giving up your statelessness was akin to betraying the Tibetan cause that three generations have fought for.

“It was not a decision I took lightly,” Deshar said, lunching on dumplings between appointments at a regional passport office in Bangalore in southern India. But the long internal conflict had led her to a realization. “My grandmother’s stories were just that — stories, like fairy tales. I’ve never even seen snow. Or a yak.”

Tibet is a mountainous, nominally semiautonomous region in China. But Tibetans consider themselves ethnically and culturally different from the Chinese.

Deshar’s grandparents were among tens of thousands who fled Tibet in 1959, after Mao Zedong’s Communist Party took control of Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, massacring thousands of Tibetans. Though some eventually found homes in the West, the vast majority of Tibetan exiles, 122,000 people, live in neighboring India and have endured nearly six decades of limbo.

For years, the Tibetan movement has hung its hopes on international support for its exiles.

Heart-rending stories of Tibetans walking through icy mountain passes to reach India — their land seized, their monasteries razed, their prayers silenced — buttressed U.S. efforts to isolate China during the Cold War and have continued to rake up support on college campuses and outside Chinese embassies worldwide. “Free Tibet” long ago became a familiar cry.

But without a stateless population to field the sympathies of Western democracies, some fear the Tibetan struggle could crumble.

“What’s happened is that an entire nationality, so to speak, has given up on its nation,” said Giriraj Subramanium, a lawyer in Delhi who has argued more than a dozen Tibetans’ cases for passports in the Delhi high court. “Tibet is over” is a common refrain among his clients, he said.

An Indian government official said there is no count of how many Tibetans have made applications for passports. A spokesman from the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the organization that oversees Tibetan affairs, said only that a small number had applied.

Stateless Tibetans face a number of restrictions when traveling: They have to get exit permits and police verification in India, which often means paying bribes to authorities. At home, not having Indian nationality can complicate getting a mobile SIM card or registering a business.

In 1959, as Chinese troops consolidated power over Lhasa, the Dalai Lama, only 23 at the time, disguised himself as a soldier and fled to India. Eighty thousand Tibetans followed. India allowed him to set up an exile government in the Himalayan town of Dharamsala. In the 1980s, hoping for compromise, the Dalai Lama stopped demanding complete independence and decided instead to settle for a “middle way” seeking “genuine autonomy” for the people of the Tibetan plateau.

Many Tibetans, however, did not give up hope.

Karten Tsering, president of the residents welfare association in a Tibetan colony in New Delhi, explains Chinese control of Tibet in Buddhist terms: as part of the ever-changing nature of the universe. “Nations rise up and down — that is happening everywhere,” he said. “In our time, we’ve been born on the loser side.”

China’s economic strength means even the Dalai Lama’s dialed-down demands for autonomy are a distant dream. For Beijing, Tibet’s strategic importance eliminates any question of conceding power; a sizable proportion of China’s water reserves are on the Tibetan plateau and the region includes a long land border with India, a neighbor with which China regularly spars.

Any concessions to Tibet could draw the ire of hard-liners within China’s ruling Communist Party and rouse nationalist fervor in Mongolia and other peripheries.

Matthew Akester, an independent Tibet researcher, said the Tibetan administration’s political strategy had failed to achieve its objectives.

“People see the Dalai Lama getting the Nobel Peace Prize, being selected for the cover of Time magazine, delivering speeches to packed audiences in Western countries,” he said. “But in terms of real politics, these things are not actually meaningful. For many years, the strategy has been, ‘If we are attractive and popular enough with Western countries, they will put pressure on China.’ That hasn’t worked.”

The CTA claims to represent all Tibetans but has little contact with the vast majority in Chinese territory. Though there is opposition to China from within Tibet (for instance, the 2008 protests ahead of the Beijing Olympics), it is the exiles who have played a central role in achieving sustained international support for the Tibetan movement.

“The CTA and even the Dalai Lama to a certain extent — their relevance will only remain if there are a large number of Tibetan exiles in India,” said Subramanium, the lawyer who is representing a number of Tibetans in court. After the 2016 high court ruling, the Indian government, which is closely allied with the CTA, introduced a number of bureaucratic hurdles for Tibetan applicants, such as having to leave their settlements and forfeit refu­gee documents.

Tibetans who spoke to The Washington Post said they had heard messages from the CTA on the radio urging Indian-born exiles not to apply for passports. Most of the discouraging, they said, has happened through word-of-mouth campaigns. A Tibetan language circular from the CTA also urges passport applicants to “take a long-term view rather than considering short-term advantages.” Outwardly, however, the CTA has said that Tibetans are free to choose Indian nationality.

“There have been murmurs in the Tibetan community that we shouldn’t do this, that this is wrong,” said Deshar. “But if I think about it, what am I really giving up? I’m not insecure about my Tibetan identity. I don’t feel the need to preserve statelessness to preserve who I am.”

Taking Indian nationality need not mean the end of the Tibetan struggle, said Robert Barnett, director of the Modern Tibetan Studies Program at Columbia University.

As Indian citizens, Tibetans could form a strong lobby within India’s political system. “There is this Tibetan idea that politics is all about public relations,” he said. “It could be replaced by the idea that politics is about skill and strategy and building coalitions and understanding opponents.”

Few Tibetans have been able to return to China as exiles. Becoming Indian may symbolically represent giving up hope for eventual repatriation, but in some cases it could increase Tibetans’ chances of getting visas to travel into China.

Many Tibetans remain uncertain about the nationality question. “People don’t really want to engage with the question of whether politics should be pragmatic or ideal. . . . For decades, they’ve left these kinds of decisions to lamas and political leaders,” Barnett said. “With young people, that kind of attitude still remains. It is not born out of ignorance or irresponsibility, but a fear of upsetting the system.”

Some like Lobsang Wangyal, editor of the news website Tibet Sun and founder of the Miss Tibet beauty pageant, whose landmark 2016 case won Tibetans the right to Indian passports, are thrilled. “I thought, wow, now I’m an Indian,” he said.

Many, like Tashi Topden, a musician born in India and raised in a Tibetan settlement in New Delhi, said they would not apply on principle. “My heart is Tibetan,” he said. “I want to remain Tibetan.”

Tibet issue raised in opening statements at UN Human Rights Council

Tibet issue raised in opening statements at UN Human Rights Council
October 2, 2017

Central Tibetan Administration, September 29, 2017 – Several UN member states including the US, UK, EU, Switzerland and Germany raised concerns over China’s worsening human rights situation at the recently concluded 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council. The delegates from the US, EU and Germany especially mentioned the grim human rights situation in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Delivering member states’ statements under ‘Item 4: General Debate on Human Rights Situation that requires the Council’s attention‘, the delegate from Germany called on China to release all detained human rights defenders including Tashi Wangchuk, and urged China to allow the High Commissioner and Special Rapporteurs to visit Tibet.

“Germany remains deeply worried about widespread human rights abuses in China, especially in Tibet, Xinjiang and neighboring regions, including infringements of the freedom of religion as witnessed in Larung Gar, ” said the German delegate.

The delegate of the US expressed its concern over lawyers and activists in China who are being arbitrarily detained, tortured and forced to confess to political charges on state media. The US delegate further stated that “condition akin to martial law have been imposed in Xinjang and some Tibetan areas.”

Similarly, the UK delegate shared its concern over restrictions to civil and political freedoms in China, and the continued detention of human rights lawyers and defenders. The delegate expressed sadness over the death of Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo and urged China to lift “all limitations on his widow, Liu Xia.”

The European Union reminded China to respect “cultural diversity and freedom of religion”. EU further stressed China to ensure a fair trail for human rights defenders, including Tashi Wangchuk, and also to implement China’s foreign NGO’s law in ways that “do not hamper the development of independent civil society.”

Earlier at the opening of this session, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for human Rights, highlighted the issue of Tibet and the cases of Late Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Tashi Wangchuk in his written statement on 11 September.

China opens expressway in Tibet near border with India

China opens expressway in Tibet near border with India
October 2, 2017

Press Trust of India, October 1, 2017 – China today opened a 409-kilometre-long expressway linking Tibet’s provincial capital Lhasa with Nyingchi, which is close to the border with India in Arunachal Pradesh, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The toll-free expressway has linked the two major cities which are also tourist attractions in Tibet, it said.

The expressway that costs $5.8 billion to build cuts travel time between Lhasa and Nyingchi from eight to five hours, with a speed limit of 80 km per hour.

Most of the expressways in Tibet can be used to transport military equipment, providing an advantage for the Chinese military to move troops and hardware faster.

The massive infrastructure development in Tibet also prompted India to ramp up infrastructure development on its side.

Heavy trucks have been temporarily banned from running on the new Lhasa-Nyingchi expressway, Xinhua reported.

On 28 August, China and India agreed to end a lengthy standoff at Doklam plateau in Sikkim sector that began in June.

The tension began in June when Indian troops entered the plateau to stop China from building a new road which Delhi viewed as a serious security concern because of the access it provides to Beijing.

Doklam chill remains: India-China border meeting not held

Doklam chill remains: India-China border meeting not held
October 2, 2017

By Rajat Pandit

Times of India, October 1, 2017 – The Indian and Chinese armies may have disengaged from their eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation on the Bhutanese territory of Doklam+ after hectic diplomatic parleys but the distinct chill between the rival troops remains on the ground over a month later.

The two armies did not hold their traditional border personnel meeting (BPM) at the five designated places along the 4,057-km long Line of Actual Control to mark China’s 68th national day on Sunday, as is the norm every year.

“The People’s Liberation Army did not send us an invite for the ceremonial meeting at the five BPM points (Daulat Beg Oldi and Chushul in Ladakh, Bum La and Kibithu in Arunachal, and Nathu La in Sikkim) on October 1,” said a source.

There has also been “no forward movement” on the 7th edition of the annual “Hand-in-Hand” exercise between the Indian Army and PLA, which was to be held in China this month. “The exercise is unlikely this year,” he added.

Sources say the two armies continue to maintain their stepped-up force levels near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction+ even weeks after the troops disengaged from the stand-off site at Doklam, concluding 73 days of tense confrontation.

The face-off had seen both the sides move forward additional infantry battalions as well as armoured (tanks), artillery, missile and air defence units in a show of strength to back their small number of troops on the actual stand-off site, as reported by TOI earlier.

“The PLA did halt construction of its motorable road through the stand-off site towards the Jampheri Ridge (physically blocked by Indian soldiers after coming down from their adjacent Doka La post on June 16) but is maintaining its force-levels in the area,” said another source.

The assessment is that the ground situation will remain the same till the crucial 19th party congress of the Chinese Communist Party from October 18, with President Xi Jinping all set to win a second five-year term to further consolidate his power.