Chinese defence experts warn India

Chinese defence experts warn India

BEIJING - India’s “provocations” on the border with China will “destroy” the foundation of mutual trust and undermine bilateral ties, a Chinese analyst said. The statement comes after top Indian Army officials told PTI that the Indian troops have been deployed along the disputed Sino-India border in the Himalayan range to increase their patrolling at a tri-junction of India, China and Myanmar to prevent a repeat of a Doklam-like standoff.

Reacting to India’s increased deployment of troops along the border, Zhao Gancheng, director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, claimed that India’s “provocations” on the border will “destroy” the foundation of mutual trust and undermine bilateral ties.

“India keeps enhancing its military deployment along the border because it has never believed the border region will become peaceful,” Zhao was quoted as saying by the Global Times yesterday.

“India thinks that border conflicts with China will eventually happen,” Zhao said.

“India’s provocations will destroy mutual trust and aggravate the delicate regional situation,” Zhao added. The mutual military distrust will ultimately undermine Sino-Indian relations in all sectors including diplomacy, economy and cultural exchanges, he said.

The Indian officials said the tri-junction, located around 50km from Walong, the easternmost town of India near the Tibet region, is extremely important for India to help it maintain its dominance in the nearby mountain passes and other areas.

A senior Indian Army official said Chinese troops did not enter the tri-junction too frequently but had developed a road infrastructure near the area which could be advantageous for the mobilisation of army personnel.

Troops of India and China were previously locked in a 73-day-long standoff in Doklam from June 16 last year after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. The face-off ended on August 28.

The area in Doklam where China tried to construct a road is a disputed territory claimed by both China and Bhutan. India sent its troops to stop the Chinese construction activity, saying it could be a threat to its strategic interests in the region. Since the Doklam standoff, India has deployed more troops and increased patrolling along the borders with China in the Tibetan region.