India Tries to Manage China Border Challenges
Image Credit: Dayou_X via Flickr

India Tries to Manage China Border Challenges


If India’s Defence Minister AK Antony thought his visit to China in early July would be sufficient to paper over the long-standing cracks in the Sino-India relationship, he was in for a rude surprise. Just before he arrived in Beijing on July 4, a hawkish PLA General warned India not to “provoke new problems” and “stir up” trouble through its plans to increase deployments along the border.

Major General Luo Yuan, who works at PLA’s Academy of Military Sciences, is known for his outspokenness. Reporting from Beijing, The Hindu quotes him as saying to the All China Journalists’ Association, “There is no denying there are tensions and problems between China and India, particularly in border areas.”

“There is still the problem of 90,000 sq km of territory that is occupied by the Indian side,” the general added, referring to China’s claims on Arunachal Pradesh. “I think these are problems left over from history and we should look at these problems with a cool head. Particularly, the Indian side should not provoke new problems and increase military deployment at the border area, and stir up new trouble.”

Gen Luo’s statement may not reflect the official line at the highest levels of the Chinese government, but the fact that he would openly warn India on the very day Antony landed in China suggests that at least a section of the Chinese establishment maintains an aggressive posture towards India. The PLA in particular is riled by India’s efforts to bolster its military position all along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), as the de facto border between the two countries is known.

While the Chinese political leadership has concentrated on improving bilateral trade with India and looking to engage New Delhi on issues like climate change, PLA hardliners have kept up the pressure on the un-demarcated boundary, indulging in the kind of brinkmanship on display in April this year. On April 15, a platoon of PLA soldiers advanced 19 km into Indian territory in Ladakh and stayed put for three weeks before restoring the status quo.

Intense efforts at both the military and diplomatic levels were needed to resolve that crisis, which once again highlighted the fault lines that exist on the boundary issue. The impasse was resolved because it was in Beijing’s interest to do so, as new Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was scheduled to visit India in early May. As his first overseas trip, Beijing could hardly have afforded to cancel it.

When he came to Delhi, Premier Li waxed eloquent about age-old ties between the two civilizations, and suggested there was enough wisdom on both sides to resolve outstanding issues as he sought to step up engagement on other fronts.

Indeed, on the surface, Sino-India relations do look to be on the upswing: bilateral trade is booming and is expected to touch 100 billion dollars in a couple of years, although India has expressed concern over a huge trade deficit; cultural and people-to-people exchange has risen substantially; New Delhi and Beijing have worked jointly on climate change negotiations. Yet despite the apparent bonhomie, the two countries failed to break the deadlock in what is now the longest border negotiations in the world.

July 23, 2013 at 00:07

I am sure all those CLEAN dead people after your recent earthquake are fine too. Hey you wanna throw stones, plan on getting few back, got it?

July 22, 2013 at 12:59

Why the sun shining so bright? Why the moon so pale and white? why the sea so foamy and cold? Why Why?

Ok go back and learn some more. You obviously have not learned enough. Which leads to questions that a two year old would ask. You got to be older than that to comment here.

The trick is to cite something factual where someone other than yourself has stated a fact. Otherwise you look like what? A fairy tale fact giver. Someone who pulls facts out of his derriere without any substantiation, possibly out of hate? malice? frustration? Why?

July 22, 2013 at 09:49

I learned a lot. thanks all. I have two questions..

1. Why India engulfed the princely states after 1947.

2. Why BSF in Eastern Fronts are given special indemnity power they can kill any local free of punishment.

To add: India is viewed as the dirtiest neighboor to its adjacent countries.


July 16, 2013 at 21:56

"Meanwhile China and Russia have reduced drastically their border troops!"

Really? Here you go:


Alexander Khramchikhin, an independent Moscow-based military analyst, said that the massive exercise held in the areas along the border with China was clearly aimed at Beijing.

"It's quite obvious that the land part of the exercise is directed at China, while the sea and island part of it is aimed at Japan," he said.

Khramchikhin, who recently posted an article painting a grim picture of Russia being quickly routed in a surprise Chinese attack, said that the war games were intended to discourage China from harboring expansionist plots.



July 16, 2013 at 21:42

Talk about ignorance is bliss!

"A state council was established in 1953 to allow for constitutional government under the Chogyal. Meanwhile, the Sikkim National Congress demanded fresh elections and greater representation for Nepalis in Sikkim.Palden Thondup Namgyal, the Chogyal at the time, proved to be extremely unpopular with the people, and in 1973, riots in front of the Chogyal's palace led to a formal request for protection from India.

In 1975, the Prime Minister of Sikkim appealed to the Indian Parliament for Sikkim to become a state of India. In April of that year, the Indian Army took over the city of Gangtok and disarmed the Chogyal's palace guards. Thereafter, a referendum was held in which 97.5 per cent of voters supported abolishing the monarchy, effectively approving union with India. On 16 May 1975, Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union, and the monarchy was abolished."

India attacked Sikkim, Really?!


July 16, 2013 at 21:25

You leave a border open and you have a maoist insurgency which costs a pretty penny.

July 16, 2013 at 13:17

Why don't you read more about Sikkim ..I'll suggest wikipedia.

July 15, 2013 at 11:12

Personally, I feel we should improve relations w/ Democratic India instead of Communist China. Help w military,infrastructure&gdp. It will give us an alliance. It keeps China &Russia in check. There already gonna have more population than China in like 20yrs. Build Japan,Philippines,s.Korea,tiwan.etc…

July 14, 2013 at 20:31

Sooo what happens then. Why you take over Pakistan of course, right? A 110 million Muslims slavering for virgins and their Han Chinese spouses! My God! All this for a few barrels of oil. Talk about strategic advantage. Oh but I forgot. You do not have enough women in China coz of the one boy policy. Well it will just have to be the boys then.

July 14, 2013 at 20:18

Oh and I forgot. What if India decides it wants its land back and leans on Pakistan? Oops you have to start paying India for oil passsage or (no biggie) punch hole in the Himalayas and detour. And the parts of Pakistan – Balochistan, Giligit Baltistan etc, all want to be independent. So you can build your pipeline in the Punjab and pay Pakistan and these other people will all want to share in the wealth that Allah (I mean China) is providing right through their newly independent country! Oh the joy!! Even the imaginary billion you added will no doubt thank you for it.

July 14, 2013 at 20:04

"A tremendous strategic advantage for China and Pakistan. An estimated 2 billion people will benefit from it. It is huge strategic disadvantage for India."

What you are really saying is that the Chinese are soiling their pants and building this port and illegal road through Indian territory because they are deathly afraid of the Indian Navy! How long do you think it is going to take to take out that pipeline or that port when things get hot? It would be a surprise if that thing ever sees the light of day.

Your evergreen friends will only be evergreen as long as you keep paying, (I mean bribing) them. Watch the fee on that pipeline zoom up as things get interesting. Oh yeah, a tremendous benefit all right. The Americans and NATO found that out right quick.

July 14, 2013 at 18:54

Of course you forgot to mention that the Chinese troops who wandered across the border and set up tents had to run back or your Prime Minister's visit would have been cancelled, killing whatever PR he was hoping to gain from it. Talk about egg on your face!

July 14, 2013 at 18:28

These are the GINI scores for India and China – 0 is perfect equality of income, 100 is perfect inequality – ie one guy has all the wealth in a country

India 33.4 in 2005, China 47 in 2007. In 2012 it was 47.4 for China, so not getting better or more equal!

Read and weep!

The trick is to cite something factual where someone other than yourself has stated a fact. Otherwise you look like what? A fairy tale fact giver. Someone who pulls facts out of his derriere without any substantiation, possibly out of hate? malice? frustration? Why?

July 14, 2013 at 17:13

Do border disputes really matter when they are between nuclear armed states with ever-increasing economic ties?  Surely all sides must realize, after performing the necessary game-theory exercises, that the status quo will hold.  

Agressive rhetoric is fine and free, but why would one party spend a dime on troop buildups?    

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