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‘Beijing in bid to exert itself’

A flag meeting was also held between senior army officers of both the sides on June 20, but the tension still continues.   | Photo Credit: AP

The recent stand-off of the Indian Army with the Chinese People Liberation Army (PLA) at Doko La on China-Sikkim-Bhutan tri-junction is being seen as an attempt by China to “exert” itself in areas, which were not prone to transgressions or disputes, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

The official said there has been a spike in Chinese transgressions after the visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh earlier this year and the numbers are expected to go up. India’s cold shoulder to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is also being seen as one of the reasons behind the increased transgressions.

In the past 45 days, around 120 Chinese transgressions were reported mainly from Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. Last year, around 250 such transgressions were reported.

 

Not surprising

An official said they were not surprised by China’s move to foment trouble in settled boundaries like Sikkim and Uttarakhand. “How much time does it take for China to change its strategy by shifting focus from Ladakh/Arunachal Pradesh to Sikkim and Uttarakhand. It is being done to stall development work in border areas,” a senior government official said.

On Tuesday, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju met a senior official from military operations and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) DG Krishna Chowdhury to discuss the construction work along the border areas. Officials have decided to give a measured response on the current stand-off with the Chinese as PM Narendra Modi is on a three-nation tour.

The tri-junction is primarily guarded by the Army and the ITBP forms the second layer of security.

“Sikkim and Uttarakhand have remained more or less oblivious to any skirmish as the border, which is yet to be demarcated officially, is considered to be a settled one between the two countries. Recently, we stepped up construction of roads and other infrastructure project, which could have upset them,” the official said.


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 7:10:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/beijing-in-bid-to-exert-itself/article19155866.ece

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