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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Pentagon Weighs in on Sino-Indian Border Disputes

August 20, 2010
August 17, 2010

Although economic and political cooperation
between India and China has been improving over
the last few years, bilateral relations remain
tense regarding international borders according
to a congressionally mandated annual report released on Monday by the Pentagon.

Using alarmist and self-serving rhetoric at
times, the Pentagon’s 83-page report, titled
Military and Security Developments Involving the
People’s Republic of China (2010), assesses and
analyzes China’s military ambitions; dedicating a
portion of the document to current Sino-Indian relations.

"Beijing remains concerned with persistent
disputes along China’s shared border with India
and the strategic ramifications of India’s rising
economic, political, and military power,” the Pentagon stated.

"Despite increased political and economic
relations over the years between China and India,
tensions remain along their shared 4,057
kilometer border, most notable over Arunachal
Pradesh, which China asserts is part of Tibet and
therefore of China, and over the Askai Chin
region at the western end of the Tibetan Plateau,” read the document.

The report claims that both countries are
stepping up their military efforts along the
disputed border areas to help assert their claims.

"To improve regional deterrence, the PLA has
replaced older liquid-fueled, nuclear-capable
CSS-3 intermediate-range ballistic missiles with
more advanced and survivable solid-fueled CSS-5
MRBMs (medium-range ballistic missiles) and may
be developing contingency plans to move airborne troops into the region.”

Furthermore, an Indian academic is quoted in the
report as saying that in 2008, the Indian
military recorded 270 border violations and
almost 2,300 instances of “aggressive border patrolling” by Chinese forces.

Beijing has also tried to use other nonmilitary
means to undermine Indian efforts in the region
to promote its own agenda. In 2009, “China tried
to block a US$2.9 billion loan to Indian from the
Asian Development Bank, claiming part of the loan
would have been used for water projects in
Arunchal Pradesh. This represented the first time
China sought to influence this dispute through a multinational institution. ”

Meanwhile, the then-governor of Arunchal Pradesh
announced last year that India “would deploy more
troops and fighter jets to the area.”

While border disputes with China have led to
brief wars with India and Vietnam in 1962 and
1979, respectively, Beijing has been more willing
to negotiate with its neighbors in recent years
despite the tone taken in the Pentagon report.
Since 1998, China has settled 11 territorial
disputes with six of its neighbors, but many
hotly contested regions like Arunchal Pradesh and
the South China Sea are still a long way from being resolved.
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