New Delhi: The morale of Chinese's People Liberation Army (PLA) troops deployed along Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh under harsh weather and terrain conditions is extremely low, top intelligence agencies said. To boost the troops' morale, China has started to set up recreation centres comprising a fitness centre, heated swimming pools, hot tubs, library and other facilities.
China has deployed thousands of its troops along the LAC with India in a bid to change the status quo on the borders. Now with the winter setting in and the temperature dipping to as low as minus 30-degree Celsius, the troops' condition has worsened with less rotation on the ground. "This is a matter of concern for the PLA," said a source, adding that PLA troops' "morale is extremely low now".
The recreational centres also have computers and play stations, sources said. "One such recreation centre has come up near the Moldo Garrison, opposite India's Chushul," the source said.
The sources also said that China is facing a shortage of specialised cold climate clothing and has gone for emergency procurements. Also, PLA troops are struggling to survive in the sub-zero temperatures with poor quality of clothing and accommodation, sources said.
The sources added that the PLA Joint Logistics Support Force (JLSF) has constituted a quality supervision team for emergency procurement of extreme cold climate clothing.
This team has been tasked to ensure good quality clothing and fast delivery to forward area troops.
"Emergency plans such as the setting up of special working classes, scientific planning, factory supervision, on-site inspections and placement of military representatives in factories to supervise production have been put in place," the source said. This team is reporting directly to the Central Military Commission.
Chinese and Indian troops are deployed along the LAC in extreme weather conditions. Both the countries are engaged in an eight-month-long standoff along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. They are also engaged in military and diplomatic talks to resolve the border disputes.
Eight rounds of corps commander level talks had taken place between both the countries' military and the ninth round of talks is scheduled very soon to disengage troops.
(With IANS Inputs)