This past weekend Indian media played up and sensationalised the “China threat”. Some publications scooped: “Chinese troops enter Pakistan to protect the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)”. In response to this, a source familiar with this issue told this reporter that these reports are pure fiction. On examination, this reporter also discovered that not a single mainstream publication in Pakistan published such reports. Meanwhile, India’s Daily Excelsior also reported that in the past few days Chinese troops crossed over the the LAC and had a “face-off” with Indian border guards for a few hours before eventually retreating.
The Indian Intelligence Bureau reported to the Modi government last Saturday that “Chinese military troops have swiftly entered Pakistan” in order to heighten security measures along CPEC, Zee News reported on March 13. A New Delhi TV news network also weighed in that that this trend is a cause for concern for the Indian side. A senior Indian government official told the TV news network: “we are paying attention and closely following the course of developments and have a fair idea of the number of Chinese troops that are likely to be positioned in Pakistan”. Indian media also stated that Pakistan too is dispatching three independent infantry brigades and two additional artillery regiments to tend to the security of the projects.
In response to the rumour that “Chinese troops are entering Pakistan” this journalist received information from a source that says this is simply not true. On investigating a number of Pakistani mainstream media publication this journalist found no such reports. It was only on an online defence forum that this journalist found a discussion thread pertaining to the report from the Indian media report—a thread on which there was no shortage of Pakistani netizens expressing their opinions. Some believed that it is possible that the information was published intentionally to mislead the local (Indian) population ,while one user was more direct with his claim that that all the information is a bunch of drivel and nonsense. Another netizen commented that Indians are paralysed out of fear, just like they always used to be.
In February Pakistan Daily reported that the Pakistani government is in the process of setting up a total of of 10,000 army troops exclusively for the security of CPEC. The report further elaborated that the Pakistani Military will be responsible for training these security troops so that they can carry out safety measures in a number of different environments and situations. At present, that are at least 10,400 Chinese engineers and technical personal working on about 210 different CPEC related projects.
A day ago, the Daily Excelsior published a report with the following headline “PLA troops retreat after crossing the border”. The report stated that on March 8 a Chinese officer lead no less than 11 troops, armed with about 4 vehicles, who crossed the LAC entering about 5.5 kms into Ladakh. A source said that these Chinese troops very quickly “encountered” Indian border guards that were patrolling, resulting in a “face-off” for a few hours before they eventually retreated. Regarding this affair, an Indian Defence Ministry official expressed that LAC has not actually been delineated (between the two countries) and both sides patrol what each perceives to be the LAC which sometimes results in these “incursions”.
The India-China border dispute is principally divided into two areas: the east and west sectors, according to the BBC. The eastern sector is located in the South Tibet region and the western sector in the Aksai Chin and Panggong Lake area—about 2/3rd of which is under Chinese control.
With regard to these two recent trends, India uses foreign media to decode and “deal with China”. Firstly, the Indian Air Force one again started using the two airports in Arunachal Pradesh (what we refer to as South Tibet) on March 12. These developments were very significant and add strength to India’s capabilities on the India-China boarder, AINS reported. Secondly, India and Japan are advancing common interests and setting up equipment and facilities on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Singapore’s Strait Times reported that these actions are in response to China’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean.