Indian road project threatens border stability: experts

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/3 23:43:39

An Indian road construction project connecting all border posts along the China-India frontier could lead to new military standoffs between China and India, Chinese experts warned on Wednesday. 

During his New Year visit to the "Indo-Tibet Border Police" at Nelong valley in Uttarkashi district bordering China on Monday, Indian Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that a number of border posts had already been connected with roads and many would soon be linked, The Times of India reported on Monday.

Singh added that "this would enhance the operational efficiency of the officers and reduce mountain-related sickness among them," said the report.

He also promised that special lightweight winter clothing, snow scooters, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and mountaineering equipment would be provided to the border troops.

India is clearly preparing for war, and it is drawing much experience from the defeat it swallowed in 1962 when it lacked such an infrastructure, Wang Dehua, head of the Institute for South and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Municipal Center for International Studies, told the Global Times.

The road infrastructure will surely enhance Indian border force maneuverability, but also increases the possibility of confrontations between the patrols of the two countries as the border issues remain unsettled in many of these areas, Qian Feng, a researcher at the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies and a senior fellow of Tsinghua University's National Strategy Institute, told the Global Times.

It also shows the double-faced nature of the Modi administration as it promised to safeguard the stability of the border area but has instead continued to prepare for military operations against China, Qian added. 

According to Qian, such a mentality would make it more difficult to improve Sino-Indian ties.

China and India have established a border management mechanism, through which both sides are expected to handle border issues.

Both sides have an interest in safeguarding peace and stability along the border areas between China and India, Geng Shuang, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said during a daily press conference held on Wednesday.


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