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India plans to counter China’s border threat

August 12, 2011

India plans to counter China’s border threat
Phayul[Friday, August 05, 2011 17:23]
In the wake of China’s massive military infrastructure developments along the Indo-Tibetan border, the Indian government has given the green signal to multiple rail and road networks in its northeastern region.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence in its report tabled at the ongoing monsoon session of the Indian Parliament Wednesday declared the laying down of three rail lines in India’s northeastern states while a road network of 73 roads were assigned as projects of “highest priority”.

"China is creating a (border) rail network and so should we," committee chairman Satpal Maharaj told the house.

The rail lines will link Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, a region that China claims as southern Tibet. The report said that the railway line to Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh has been declared as a 'National Project'.

The report also noted India would construct "operationally-critical infrastructure" - including permanent military posts - along the 4,057-kilometre Line of Actual Control which demarcates Indian and China occupied Tibetan territories.

"China has been building its infrastructure. They have advantage of the topography also because they have the Tibetan plateau whereas from our side, the terrain and geography are more difficult," defence secretary Pradeep Kumar told the Standing Committee on Defence.

India and China occupied Tibet share a 3488 km long disputed border which was the cause of a short but bloody war in 1962. Since then, the two Asian giants have shared uneasy military ties with a series of border talks failing to yield much result.

China is the second largest spender on military in the world with an official defence budget of about US$91.5 billion in 2011, a 12.7% rise from the previous year.

Since George Frenandes, India’s then defence minister called China as India’s “number one enemy”, the chorus in India which recognises China as the real threat to India’s long-term security than traditional rival Pakistan has been growing.

Last month, former Law Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani joined the chorus by calling China an “enemy” of both India and Pakistan in the presence of the Chinese Ambassador at a reception for the visiting Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.
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