India 'instigating' incidents on borders: Chinese media

Beijing, Sep 19: Even as Chinese troops began withdrawing from the Chumar area in Ladakh, the official media here accused India of "instigating" incidents on the borders to divert attention during important visits of Chinese leaders.

The Chinese think-tanks also said that India has taken an "offensive" strategy to get more leverage in talks, a day after visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in Delhi. Reporting for the first time on the border incident in Ladakh region, state-run Global Times in its report on Xi-Modi talks quoted Indian media reports of the row between Indian and Chinese troops in Chumar area.

Modi raised concerns over the ongoing incident to Xi in Gujarat on Wednesday and it was brought up again during their talks in Delhi yesterday, said the report in the paper known for its nationalistic views. This is the first time sections of Chinese media reported the incident.

Commenting on the incident, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing here yesterday that "with immediate and effective communication, this has been effectively controlled and managed".

However the Global Times, a sister publication of the ruling Communist Party of China-run People's Daily quoted an "anonymous Observer" accusing India of "ramping up" tensions near the borders to divert the attention over Chinese leaders visits to New Delhi.

The "anonymous observer", who specialises in South Asian studies, said that prior to visits to India by Chinese leaders, tensions often ramp-up near the border.

"Last year, ahead of Premier Li Keqiang's India visit, there was a three-week standoff in the western part of the border," said the observer stated to be a woman analyst.

It may not be a coincidence, she said, alleging that "some forces in India might want to exert pressure on China over the meeting's agenda. They don't want the talks to only focus on trade and economic cooperation, and might want to use it as leverage to press for talks over the border issue."

She is also sceptical about early resolution of boundary dispute as desired by Modi and Xi during their talks. Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow with the Institute of International Relations at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the daily that Modi has taken a hard line on political and security policies, reinforcing infrastructure on the Indian side of the LAC and upgrading equipment.

"The 'offensive' strategy aims to gain more leverage in the talks," Hu said.


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