Looks like Indian officials are still trying to tamp down some of the more fiery media speculation over the ongoing border dispute with China. As I mentioned last week, the Dalai Lama’s visit to the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh is expected to stoke tensions between the two countries. But according to Asian Defence Blog, news that the Chinese Army is conducting exercises near Arunachal has been played down by Indian officers.
Asian Defence Blog quotes Major General S S Jog, General Office Commanding of the Red Horn Division, as saying:
‘There is some sort of exercises, which they generally do during this particular time of the year. They have done a few exercises and certain amounts of troops have come in but it’s normal routine exercise.’
Our India correspondent, Madhav Nalapat, takes a historical look at Sino-Indian tensions at a piece we’ll be publishing next week. In it, he argues that the current problems have their roots in decisions made decades ago–specifically the 1959 decision by then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to ignore Beijing’s warnings and offer the Dalai Lama asylum.