“Indian Express” of the 10th, citing “official data”, reported that in 2017, China “crossed over the boundary line of Actual Control into the Indian side 415 times, a marked increase as compared to 216 times in 2016. At the same time, confrontation near the Line of Control also increased 48% — 216 times in 2017 as against 146 in 2016 “. The article also said, “trans-boundary intrusions” and confrontation occurred in 23 places, mainly in Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh (Southern Tibet region) and elsewhere.
India’s Ambassador to China until 2016, Kantha, who has been associated with border negotiations for 30 years, told the Indian Express: “the total number of trans-boundary incidents is not important. What we need to know is the specific circumstances: whether they happened in the disputed area where similar events occurred earlier, or are they in new areas? Is the Chinese Army going deeper ? Only by understanding these questions can we gauge the significance of the “increase in the number of trans-boundary transgressions”. He said that, although the number of confrontations increased, “there has not been any long stalemate. This suggests that the confidence building measures agreed upon by the two sides are working”.
A senior official in India said: “the Line of Actual Control is controversial, and both sides have their own understanding of it”. “If these data are correct,” retired Indian General Bhatia observed, “it means that China will certainly step up its patrols near the Line of Actual Control”.
The Indian Express quoted senior Indian officials as saying: “the good sign is that we can now respond faster in the event of China’s trans-boundary intrusions and force a confrontation”. However, he said that, in the event of the Chinese Army entering Southern Tibet, at present the Indian Army’s response would be slower, and capacity to force confrontations less, because of India’s infrastructure not being up to the mark.
(Translated by Wang Tianmi)