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China Xinjiang adm location map.svg
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Coordinates: 35°19′52″N78°10′44″E / 35.331°N 78.179°E / 35.331; 78.179 Coordinates: 35°19′52″N78°10′44″E / 35.331°N 78.179°E / 35.331; 78.179
Elevation5,171.2 m (16,965.9 ft)
Traditional Chinese 天文點
Simplified Chinese 天文点
Literal meaningastronomical point

Tianwendian (Chinese : 天文点 ; lit. 'astronomical point') is the location of a Chinese border outpost in the Chip Chap River valley, north of Depsang Plains in the Aksai Chin region controlled by China (as part of Hotan County, Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang). [3] The region is disputed by India.[ citation needed ]


The Tianwendian post was established after the 1962 war. China said it was an astronomical observatory. A few years later India realised that it was an not an observatory but a military post. Over the years, China has continued to expand the post. [4]

Tianwendian is in vicinity of an earlier post at Point 5243 (Chinese :5243哨卡), which is at an elevation of 5243 meters above sea level. [5] [6] [7] [8]

Military outpost

The military outpost was constructed in 1959, and is composed of a border company. [9] Around the time of the 2013 Daulat Beg Oldi incident, PLA constructed a radar station, a 11 m radome at an elevation of 5530m, at this outpost. [10] [4]

Forward Post 5390

Between 2006 and 2008, China constructed forward post 5390 (named after the highest point in that area). [4]

India-China Border Meeting point

The highest of the five Border Personnel Meeting points is located near Tianwendian. The Indian camp at Daulat Beg Oldi serves as the counter-party for this meeting point. [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

Aksai Chin Disputed region in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Kashmir

Aksai Chin is a region administered by China as part of its Xinjiang and Tibet autonomous regions, and constituting the eastern portion of the larger Kashmir region which has been the subject of a dispute between India and China since the late 1950s.

Hotan County County in Xinjiang, Peoples Republic of China

Hotan County is a county in the southwest of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and is under the administration of the Hotan Prefecture. Almost all the residents of the county are Uyghurs and live around oases situated between the desolate Taklamakan Desert and Kunlun Mountains. Hotan County is the southernmost county-level division of Xinjiang. The county borders Karakax/Moyu County to the northwest, Hotan City and Lop County to the northeast, Qira County to the east, Pishan County to the west, and Rutog County, Tibet to the southeast. Hotan County administers most of Aksai Chin, an area disputed between China and India. The Line of Actual Control divides the India-controlled part of Ladakh union territory from the Aksai Chin area administered as part of southwest Hotan County.

Hotan Prefecture Prefecture in Xinjiang, Peoples Republic of China

Hotan Prefecture is located in the Dzungaria region in the southwestern part of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, bordering the Tibet Autonomous Region to the south and Union Territory of Ladakh to the west. The vast majority of the Aksai Chin region which is disputed between China and India is administered as part of Hotan Prefecture. The seat of Hotan Prefecture is Hotan and its largest county by population is Karakax County. The vast majority of the residents of the prefecture are Muslim Uyghurs and live around oases situated between the desolate Taklamakan Desert and Kunlun Mountains.

Daulat Beg Oldi Military Base in Ladakh, India

Daulat Beg Oldi is a historic campsite and current military base located in Ladakh, India on an ancient trade route connecting Ladakh to the Tarim Basin. It is named after Sultan Said Khan, who died here on his return journey after the invasion of Ladakh and Kashmir. The Chip Chap River flows just to the south of Daulat Beg Oldi from east to west. Daulat Beg Oldi also has one of the world's highest airstrips which is one of India's Advance Landing Ground (ALG), at an altitude of 5,065 meters.

Xaidulla Town in Xinjiang, Peoples Republic of China

Xaidulla, also spelled Shahidullah and Shahidula, also Saitula from Mandarin Chinese, is a town in Pishan County in the southwestern part of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China. It is strategically located on the upper Karakash River, just to the north of the Karakoram Pass on the old caravan route between the Tarim Basin and Ladakh. It lies next to the Chinese National Highway G219 between Kashgar and Tibet, 25 km east of Mazar and 115 km west of Dahongliutan.

Depsang Plains

The Depsang Plains represent a high-altitude gravelly plain at the northwest portion of the disputed Aksai Chin region of Kashmir, divided into Indian and Chinese administered portions across a Line of Actual Control. India controls the western portion of the plains as part of Ladakh, whereas the eastern portion is controlled by China and claimed by India. The Depsang plains are also part of the area called Sub-Sector North (SSN) by the Indian military.

Kongka Pass Mountain pass in India and China

The Kongka Pass or Kongka La is a high mountain pass of the Chang-Chemno Range on the Line of Actual Control between India and China. China considers the Kongka Pass as its boundary with India, whereas India regards Lanak Pass further east as the boundary. The pass was the location of the Kongka Pass incident, a military skirmish between Chinese and Indian patrol officers in 1959.

2013 Depsang standoff

On 15 April 2013, a platoon-sized contingent of the Chinese PLA set up a camp in Raki Nula, 30 km south of Daulat Beg Oldi near the Aksai Chin–Ladakh Line of Actual Control (LAC). Chinese and Indian patrols in this disputed area are common, but both Chinese and Indian military forces have avoided establishing permanent bases and fortifications in the region. Indian forces responded to the Chinese presence by quickly establishing their own encampment 300 m (980 ft) away. Negotiations between China and India lasted nearly three weeks, during which the Chinese position was reinforced and supported by trucks and helicopters. The dispute was resolved on 5 May, after which both sides withdrew. As part of the resolution, the Indian military agreed to dismantle some military structures 250 km to the south in the disputed Chumar sector that the Chinese perceived as threatening. The Chinese military in July 2014 acknowledged the incursion at the Depsang Valley in Ladakh region and said such incidents occurred due to different perceptions about the Line of Actual Control.

Khurnak Fort

The Khurnak Fort is a ruined fort on the northern shore of the Pangong Lake that spans eastern Ladakh in India and Rutog County in Tibet. The area of the Khurnak Fort is disputed by India and China, and has been under Chinese administration since 1958.

Chip Chap River

The Chip Chap River is a tributary of the Shyok River that flows from the disputed Aksai Chin region administered by China to Ladakh in India. It originates at the eastern edge of the Depsang Plains and flows west, skirting around the Depsang Plains in the north. It discharges into the Shyok River, forming one of the upstream tributaries of the Indus River.

Cho La (Sikkim and Tibet)

Cho La or Cho-la is a mountain pass in the Himalayas. It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. It is situated around four miles to the north-west of Nathu La.

Tianshuihai army service station in Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China

Tianshuihai, alternately Tien Shui Hai, is the location of an army service station in the disputed Aksai Chin region of Kashmir administered by China as part of its Hotan County, Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. It is also claimed by India as part of Ladakh.

Heweitan Border outpost

Heweitan is the location of a Chinese border outpost in the region of Aksai Chin that is controlled by China but disputed by India. According to the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, it is the highest border outpost in the country.

Mazar Pass Mountain pass in China

Mazar Pass or Mazar Daban is a long mountain pass with numerous hairpin turns along China National Highway 219 (G219), the highway connecting Xinjiang and Tibet. The mountain pass crosses the Kunlun Mountains. It is between the villages of Kudi and Mazar in Kargilik County in southwestern Xinjiang. Western sources often refer to it as Chiragsaldi Pass. Formal Chinese sources, such academia, also refer to it as Sailyak Pass(Sailiyake Daban; Chinese: 赛力亚克达坂).

Luci Island Island of Fujian.

Luci Island (Chinese: 鸬鹚岛 / 鸬鹚屿; pinyin: Lúcí Dǎo/Yǔ/Xù; Wade–Giles: Lu2-tzʻŭ2 Tao3/Yü3/Hsü4; lit. 'cormorant island') (also Loutz Island (Lu-tzʻu, Lucih) and Lusi Island (Lusih, Lu-ssu) (Chinese: 鷺鷥島; pinyin: Lùsī Dǎo; Wade–Giles: Lu4-ssŭ1 Tao3; lit. 'little egret island') is an uninhabited island southeast of the Asian mainland in Pinghai Town (平海镇), Xiuyu District, Putian, Fujian, People's Republic of China (PRC) and 9 nautical miles (17 km) north-northwest of Wuciou Township (Ockseu), Kinmen County (Quemoy), Republic of China (Taiwan) which can be seen from the island.

The Darbuk–Shyok–DBO Road, also called the Sub-Sector North Road, is a strategic all-weather road in eastern Ladakh in India, close to the Line of Actual Control with China. It connects Ladakh's capital city Leh, via the villages of Darbuk and Shyok at southern Shyok Valley, with the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) post near the northern border. The 220-km long section between Shyok and DBO was constructed between 2000 and 2019 by India's Border Roads Organisation (BRO). The Darbuk–Shyok–DBO Road has reduced the travel time between Leh to Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) from 2 days to 6 hours.


  1. Baiping, Zhang (2000). "Kunlun Mountains Region". Mountain Geoecology and Sustainable Development of the Tibetan Plateau. GeoJournal Library. 57. pp. 349–372. doi:10.1007/978-94-010-0965-2_17. ISBN   978-94-010-3800-3. ISSN   0924-5499. Tianwendian (5171.2 m)
  2. "海拔5170米 天文点官兵扎根奉献". Xinwen Lianbo . CCTV-13. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2019. 海拔5170米 天文点官兵扎根奉献
  3. 地貌气候. 和田县政府门户网站 (in Chinese). 29 April 2019. Retrieved 23 December 2019. 海拔5 000米以上的天文点、空喀山口一带,
  4. 1 2 3 Bhat, Col Vinayak (25 June 2020). "New radar, water pipelines: Satellite images decode Chinese troop movement in Ladakh's Depsang". India Today. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  5. Point 5243, OpenStreetMap, retrieved 17 December 2020.
  6. Sandhu, P. J. S.; Shankar, Vinay; Dwivedi, G. G. (6 August 2015). 1962: A View from the Other Side of the Hill. Vij Books India Pvt Ltd. pp. 44–46. ISBN   978-93-84464-37-0.
  7. Nath, Rajendra (10 November 2016). "12". Strategic Ladakh: A Historical Narrative 1951-53 and a Military Perspective. Vij Books India Pvt Ltd. ISBN   978-93-85563-50-8.
  8. 分享至 (28 May 2018). "那些年,我在中印边界的坚守". Sina. Retrieved 16 December 2020. 总卡5243哨卡...我们天防区的总卡叫5243,海拔高度就是5243米,是天防区最低的哨卡
  9. 陈杰 (19 December 2013). 王建民 (ed.). "守防在昆仑之巅 记新疆军区某边防团天文点边防连" (in Chinese). Xinhua News . Retrieved 14 December 2019. 天文点边防连组建于1959年。
  10. Bhat, Vinayak (25 August 2017). "China's string of radars in Ladakh track every move of Indian Army – ThePrint". ThePrint. Retrieved 5 January 2020. The Depsang area came into the limelight during 2013 Daulat Beg Oldie incident when the PLA pitched tents and constructed watchtowers much higher than required. At that time, China had also constructed a huge radar on a hillock north of their post called Tianwendian.
  11. "Indian, Chinese armies decide to improve ties at functional level". News18 . Retrieved 14 September 2017.