Even as the escalated tension between India and China continues with the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) facing each other in a standoff at the border region of Doklam, the Chinese soldiers, in a fresh bid, attempted to enter the Indian territory in Ladakh. As reported by the Press Trust of India, confirming the incursion bid, officials had stated that China’s PLA tried entering Finger Four and Finger Five areas of India between 6 am and 9 am on Tuesday. However, the attempt resulted in a failure after stone pelting at the area left minor injuries to people from both the sides.
However, this was not the first incursion bid attempted by the Chinese troops. The neighbouring country’s soldiers had made similar attempts earlier in September, 2009, when reportedly the troops entered about 1.5 km into the Indian territory near Mount Gya, which is considered as the International Border between India and China. But the then Congress government under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh played down the reports to de-escalate the tension. The then External Affairs Minister SM Krishna went on record to say, “Let me go on record to say that this (border with China) has been one of the most peaceful boundaries that we have had as compared to other boundary lines with other countries.”
As reported by the Hindustan Times on October 20, 2009, the Chinese troops had attempted around 270 incursions along the Line of Actual Control (LoAC) in 2009. Amid strong views on the sensitive issue, security officials and analysts, Amitava Mukherjee wrote in the Mainstream Daily in October 2009, “continued Chinese incursions along the Line of Actual Control and the series of strategic moves being undertaken by Beijing in regard to its relations with some smaller countries of the subcontinent, point to a sinister Chinese design of encircling India. China wears an inscrutable mask and India has so far been unable to see through it as it did in 1962.”
And with the two countries once again facing a tensed situation at the International Border, former Defence Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav was quoted by PTI, saying, “There are a number of threats before the country but the biggest threat is from China…it is continuously encroaching on our land and is planning to attack but is not able to advance because of our army. China is preparing to attack India in collaboration with Pakistan. This collaboration of China and Pakistan is dangerous for us…this matter should be taken seriously.”
By Priyam Mukhopadhyay