Chinese intrusions declined by 10% this year, says official

A file photo of an Indian and Chinese soldier at the border in the Doklam area.  

There has been a 10% decline in the number of Chinese transgressions this year, a senior government official told The Hindu.

The presence of Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has also reduced by around 30%. The manpower has been substituted with powerful surveillance equipment, he said.

Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre informed the Rajya Sabha on February 5 that the number of transgressions was 426 in 2017.

The official claimed that the transgressions dropped after the 73-day standoff between the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army at Doklam on the China-Sikkim-Bhutan tri-junction near Nathu La last year.

“Transgressions continue to take place due to the difference in perception of the actual boundary. But after Doklam, the diplomatic manoeuvring and dialogue with the counterparts at the border ensured there was no steep increase,” he said.

According to him, there was enhanced cooperation along the China border and many incidents were not being reported.

Sorting out disputes

“There are many incidents of border transgressions that are not being recorded by both sides. If it’s reported, then it becomes part of the official record. The troops on both sides are communicating more and sorting out the differences,” said the official.

As per an internal report accessed by The Hindu, from August 1-19, as many as 19 incidents of transgressions were reported, out of which 13 were in the Leh sector.

At least three intrusions were reported in Leh, Uttarakhand’s Barahoti and the strategically sensitive Asaphila in Arunachal Pradesh on August 15 when the two armies held a special Border Personnel Meeting at Nathu La in Sikkim.

An analysis of the report reveals that the transgressions are anywhere from 300 metres to 19 km in the Indian territory.

Chinese intrusions declined by 10% this year, says official

On July 20 at 9.53 a.m., Chinese troops transgressed 18.5 km in North Ladakh’s Depsang, the report said.

The official claimed that there were only 10-12 locations along the China border that saw dispute.

“Both sides send long patrols into the disputed areas, particularly in summer months to assert territorial claims. These patrols are undertaken at key disputed locations, mostly in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.

Along the Ladakh border in Jammu and Kashmir, India sticks mostly to a boundary drawn by British civil servant W.H. Johnson in 1865, which showed Aksai Chin as part of Jammu and Kashmir. China disputes this claim and in the 1950s, built a road connecting Xinjiang and Tibet that ran through Aksai Chin.

In the Northeast, New Delhi sticks to the McMahon Line, as agreed by British representatives and Tibet at Simla in 1914. China claims that Tibet is not a sovereign nation and the McMahon Line has no legal standing. It stakes claim to the entire Arunachal Pradesh as part of Tibet. The Middle Sector along Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand is almost settled, with both sides not differing much in perception.

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Printable version | Oct 13, 2021 2:23:42 PM |

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