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China v India: Beijing issues chilling warning over border dispute

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The state-run Global Times newspaper accused India of trying push across the disputed border while Beijing was distracted by pressure from the US and long-running tensions in the South China Sea and Taiwan Straits.

An editorial in the ultra-nationalist Chinese paper said: “India’s military activities have become increasingly aggressive in recent days, and border tensions see no sign of de-escalating.

“The Indian Army has changed its posture from border management to securing the border on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, after the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) added a military deployment in the region.

“India also deployed additional specialised forces such as the Special Frontier Force, and the Indian media said its soldiers have occupied key peaks on the southern bank of Pangong Lake.

“These high-profile activities showed that the Indian military and its government leaders are extremely sure of themselves and China must prepare for long-term tensions on the border.

“But if Indian troops invade Chinese territory and attack Chinese troops, no matter what kind of pressure China is facing to the east, India will surely pay a heavy price.

“China will never compromise and India’s miscalculations will endanger its frontline troops.”

Lin Minwang, deputy director at the Centre for South Asian Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times that India still wants to negotiate rather than start a war.

He said New Delhi’s aggressive military activities were serving their purpose of keeping the border situation tense and trying to force China to compromise.

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The border dispute was reignited last weekend when Indian forces claimed to have foiled an attempt by Chinese troops to occupy a hill on the border.

Military chiefs in New Delhi said Indian troops were mobilised after spotting the Chinese troops’ movement.

China rejected the accusation that People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops had breached the border amid soaring tensions between the two sides.

Some reports suggest Indian forces captured a strategically important Chinese military post after fighting off an attempt by 500 PLA soldiers to cross into Spanggur, a narrow valley near the village of Chushul.

Both sides had agreed to pull back after a brutal clash in June left 20 Indian soldiers dead but the Indian Army accused Chinese forces of breaching that accord over the weekend.

Mr Lin told the Global Times the recent provocations proved India sought to gain more unrealistic concessions from Beijing and wanted Chinese troops to retreat from more regions like Pangong Tso Lake and Reqin Mountain to accept the a border drawn by the Indian side.

He said: “If China accepts these claims and pulls back its troops from its own territory under military pressure from India, Indian troops would keep pressing forward and its provocations and aggressive posture would be endless.

“India’s aggressive actions are making the tensions difficult to de-escalate and be resolved.”

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Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, said: “Chinese military forces, whether the army or air force, in the region are well-trained and their weapons have technological advantages over India’s.

“They are fully capable of cracking down against any Indian provocation at anytime if Indian troops invade.”

India and China fought a war in 1962 over disputed territory and have been unable to agree a permanent border along the 2,000-mile frontier ever since.



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