India Saves Its East after Western Collision with China
India has transferred troops to its eastern part of the border with China since clashes occurred between the nuclear-armed rivals on the western part of their border in the Himalayas in June, a government official said.
“No Incursions as of Now”
The June clash in the Ladakh region which erupted in the western part of their border was considered to be the worst violence between the Asian giants in decades. However, there has been little sign of a fall in tension, with more military action in the past week.
The movement of troops to the eastern district of Anjaw, in Arunachal Pradesh state, which China also claims, propels the prospect of a major face-off. However, both government and military officials in India ruled out any looming confrontation.
“The military presence has surely increased, but as far as incursions are concerned, there are no verified reports as such,” stated Ayushi Sudan, Anjaw’s chief civil servant, adding that many Indian army battalions were stationed there.
“There has been an increase in troop deployment since the Galwan incident, and even prior to that we’d started,” Ayushi said in a telephonic interview, referring to the June clash in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives
Arunachal Pradesh, which China calls South Tibet, acted as the core of a full-scale border war between India and China in 1962. Security analysts are claiming that it could transform into a flash-point again.
However, an Indian military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Harsh Wardhan Pande, stated there was no cause for tension and the troops moving in the area were part of a regular rotation.
A Regular Phenomenon
“Basically, it’s units changing. That’s happening as it happens every time, nothing much,” Pande said in an interview from near Guwahati, the biggest city in north-eastern India.
“As of now, there’s nothing to worry about on that front.”
However, Tapir Gao, a member of parliament from Arunachal, said that Chinese troops had been persistently crossing into Indian territory.
“It’s a regular phenomenon, it’s nothing new,” he said, identifying the Walong and Chaglagam areas in Anjaw as the most vulnerable.
In the 1962 war, India says its outnumbered forces “blocked the thrust of the invading Chinese” in Walong, and the region of mountains, meadows, and fast-flowing rivers is currently a government focus for settlement and road-building.
“What we’re trying to do is create more possibilities and opportunities for villagers,” said Sudan, referring to plans for clusters of villages in the disputed area. “It’s a push to resettle people.”