China reacts to India's new strike corps

Beijing, July 21: China has reacted cautiously to India's proposal for the establishment of mountain strike corps along the Sino-Indian border.

"The Chinese and Indian governments have signed several agreements on safeguarding peace and tranquillity in the border areas and on taking trust-building measures in the field of military," Chinese Foreign Ministry, said in written response to a query from PTI on China's reaction to the Indian move.

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"The overall situation in the border areas between the two countries is peaceful and stable. The Chinese side is ready to work with the Indian side to maintain peace and tranquillity on the border areas", the brief response said, without making any direct reference to the Indian government's clearance to form the division.

Boosting the Indian Army's war fighting capabilities along the Line of Actual Control, government on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for the creation of a corps including deployment of 50,000 additional troops along the China border at a cost of around Rs. 65,000 crore.

The move to form the Mountain Corps has not figured in the official media so far.

The approval for the formation of the new corps comes as the two countries held advanced negotiations on the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) which figured prominently
in Defence Minister A K Antony's visit here earlier this month.

It was also discussed during National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon's visit on June 28 when he held the 16th round of talks to resolve the border issue with his counterpart Yang Jiechi.

Indian officials in Beijing earlier refuted perception that the BDCA which was proposed by China was aimed at containing the development of infrastructure on the Indian side of the border or freezing the troop levels.


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