According to a January 2 Times of India report, Ajit Doval, India’s National Security Adviser, will visit China this week in order to discuss border related issues with his Chinese counterparts. It is also expected that China may raise its reservations regarding India’s position in the South China Sea issue.
Reports also said that in the past few months there have hardly been any “incursions” by Chinese armed forces and China’s Defence Ministry spokesman said that currently there is stability across all the China-India border areas. According to a January 3 New Delhi Television report, during the India-China boundary personnel meeting on the 1st, PLA soldiers and local Chinese joined in festivities together with Indian soldiers by dancing to and singing Bollywood music—“a special New Year gift for Indians”.
A meeting between the boundary spanners is a regular event every New Year. Sitanshu, spokesman of the Indian military said, “the meeting was quite vibrant, after the raising of national flags and playing of the national anthems, the Chinese soldiers sang a Bollywood song—much to the surprise of the audience. Chinese female soldiers also beautifully danced accompanied by a male chorus”. Meanwhile, theIndian soldiers played jazz for the Chinese soldiers. New Delhi television commented that such warmth comes at a time of the (Indian) army’s build up in “Arunachal Pradesh” (China’s Southern Tibet) .
The Times of India said that although Doval will informally discuss the border issues with the Chinese side, the scope of discussion will be far wider than that. The newspaper added that India is increasingly active and involved in the South China Sea region. India cooperates with Vietnam with regard to to oil exploration in areas considered to be disputed territory. India’s Prime Minister Modi visited Japan in 2014 soon after his election to office where he claimed that during his visit to Japan, he brought up the question of guarantee of free navigation in the South China Sea. Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, in a recent visit to India also raised the South China sea issue. The newspaper also reported that the mention of the South China Sea in bilateral documents unrelated to the South China sea dispute rattles China and that China has already expressed his reservations to the Indian authorities.
With regard to this, an Indian analyst, in an interview with this Global Times journalist on the 3rd, stated that Modi has adopted a very active and energetic approach to diplomacy, exemplified by his transformation of the ‘Look East’ policy to ‘Act East’ and wants to improve India’s voice in south-east and east Asia. These are all part of India’s efforts to become a global superpower. However, rather than get tangled with the South China sea issue, India should consider developing its own economy to be a bigger priority.