Indian MPs Warn Government to Take Chinese Military Incursion Seriously
While India's Defense Minister has described Chinese troops' latest intrusion into Uttarakhand as merely a "transgression", members of parliament have warned that the matter should not be taken lightly.
New Delhi (Sputnik) – Indian MP Jyotiraditya Scindia's allegation that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) China had not only intruded into the northern state of Uttarakhand but also claimed that the land belongs to them and that they recognized it as "Wu Ye," has prompted angry responses from lawmakers, who are warning the government not to take the matter lightly.
Scindia told Parliament, "When our revenue officials went there to stop the Chinese PLA, the Chinese troops shouted at them and said, 'This is our land, go back.' This was on July 22, but again on July 25, Chinese helicopters entered India's territory, violating air space law."
Mulayam Singh Yadav, India's former Defense Minister, reacted by saying "the real threat to India is from China. China is a back-stabber. It considers India as an enemy. So, we have to be careful about China."
Chief Minsiter of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat has described the matter as "something to worry about." Another Parlimentarian, Gaurav Gogoi, compared the Chinese incursion to Uttarakhand with China's assertive approach in South China Sea.
However, in his response, Manohar Parrikar, India's Defense Minister, tried to play down the matter. "Indian civilians in the area warned the PLA patrol to go back and the PLA patrol returned to the Chinese side. There was no incursion, only a transgression, which has already been settled. There are about 400-500 such transgressions annually. This year, the number of transgressions has been reduced."
Major General R K Arora (Retired), Chief Editor of Indian Military Review, says, "The way we are tackling incursion and transgression, you could say that we are maintaining a soft line. Chinese incursions, whether in the central sector or in the eastern sector, are happening regularly. This is because we have an agreement with China on how to tackle incidences on the border; that is why both the side refer to the provisions of the agreement and most of the time those things are settled amicably. Perhaps, the Indian government does not want to precipitate any situation on the border unless the Chinese stay on and don't go back. It is a good approach but it is concerning that large number of incursions is taking place, and there is no progress on border talks between India and China."
"I do not think we should compare the incursions with China's assertive approach in the South China Sea. In the South China Sea, China has made artificial islands and then claimed the area around them. This law doesn't apply to artificial Islands. As far as border disputes and incursions go, it has settled its boundary disputes with all other nations except with India. We also keep in mind that one is land territory and other is maritime territory. In the South China Sea, China is trying to protect itself from any threat from the South China Sea and keep other forces away from that area. Here it is bilateral, and the South China Sea dispute is multilateral," says General Arora.
The India-China border has not been formally demarcated. There are areas where both sides patrol up to their respective perceptions of where the border is, due to which temporary transgressions occur. Bara Hoti in Uttarakhand is one such area where there are differing perceptions.
On July 22nd, two Chinese PLA personnel reportedly transgressed 200 meters into Indian Territory. Uttarakhand shares a 350 km boundary with China.
Meanwhile, China responded by saying it needs to verify the "authenticity of the report" about the incursion and asserted that PLA soldiers always abide by agreements to maintain peace and stability along the border.
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