Our correspondent in India, Yi Jian
Several Indian media reported on the 9th that “India and China avoided another confrontation between the two countries” when, three days ago, Indian and Chinese border personnel held meetings in “Arunachal Pradesh” (Southern Tibet region of China). Both parties agreed to settle the border dispute that took place in this area at the end of last year.
Indian media earlier quoted sources as saying that around December 28 last year, villagers in the Sanglang area in Arunachal province of India discovered that a Chinese road building team had “intruded into Indian territory” with bulldozers. The Times of India reported on the 9th that the Indian Army Chief of Staff, Rawat, told reporters on the 8th that the incident has been resolved. The Chinese side agreed to stop road construction on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control and the Indian side to return the seized Chinese excavators and other equipment. The website of the CNN-18 news network quoted government sources as saying that the incident was resolved amicably on the basis of negotiations conducted by the Commanders of the two forces.
However, some print media were not so friendly. India Today continued to hype on the 9th that exclusive video footage it had shows that not only was there a civilian (private) road construction team involved in this “intrusion” but that the Chinese Government was fully aware of it. Prior to this, India’s New Delhi television station had quoted sources as saying that the Indian National Security Council Secretariat report showed that the incident was only an “inadvertent mistake by Chinese workers” and that no PLA personnel were involved.
At the beginning of the new year, India added a new element of disequilibrium/instability to the not-so-quiet Sino-Indian border. Indian media reported that Indian Prime Minister Modi was likely to visit to “Arunachal Pradesh” early this year. On the 8th, after Rawat disclosed peaceful resolution of the issue between India and China, he (also) said that at present China has drastically reduced the force deployed in the Donglang area. However, in the future, India will need to combat more difficult terrain and complex environments and the military must prepare for this. India’s CNN-18 news network said that Rawat’s comments clearly pointed to China. He said that the Indian army needs large-scale modernization and that the army is prepared to introduce equipment and platforms manufactured by the Indian defense enterprises.
China never recognises the so-called “Arunachal” province On the 9th, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, pointed out in his Press Conference that “the Chinese side has drastically reduced its troop strength” in Dong Lang. According to the statement, the Dong Lang region has always belonged to China and has always been under its effective control and that there is no dispute about it. Chinese border guards patrolling and manning/defending posts is in exercise of their sovereignty rights and safeguarding of territorial sovereignty in accordance with the stipulations of historical conventions.