In what the Chinese termed as “temporary transgression,” about 250 China’s Peoples Liberation Army soldiers entered Arunachal Pradesh’s east district of Kameng four days ago, defence sources said. The incident happened in Yangste, East Kameng district on 9 June is yet another instance of Chinese incursion.
The soldiers, however, went back within hours, said the defence sources. Incidentally, the Chinese crossing-over happened at a time when Beijing had hardened its opposition against India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). When Manohar Parrikar visited China in April, issues of strategic concerns and implementation of agreements to reduce tensions were discussed by the two governments.
This is the first known transgression by the Chinese army this year in the region, which China claims is part of its territory. The Chinese troops spent about three hours on this side of the border before going back to their territory, the sources said. In the past, however, China has on many occasions “transgressed” into the Indian borders. According to a BBC report, the Home Ministry claims that there have been “334 transgressions by Chinese troops over the Indian border” in 2014 alone.
According Harsh V Pant of BBC, such incursions tend to take place between the two countries before major bilateral meets. Indian officials have in the past reasoned China’s incursions as a “result of differing perceptions about line of truth,” according to Brahma Chellaney in The Sunday Guardian. However, he says that in the Indo-Chinese disputes, India has “always been on the defensive” and that Beijing’s “public language” signals Premier Zhou Enlai’s words, “to teach India a lesson..
DS Rajan in his paper, Chinese intrusions into India’s borders ever end? describes that the People’s Republic of China ups the intrusions during or close to periods of exchanges of high-level visits between India and China. With India doing everything it can to secure a membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), China is in stark opposition.
According to Jaideep Prabhu in an earlier article on Firstpost, China is insistent when the criteria for membership is clear, there should be no exceptions, including India because it would weaken the non-proliferation regime.
Prakash Nanda argued that the Chinese objection to India’s membership in NSG is “political” and that China cannot bear that India is emerging as a recognisable force and that for China, “India is part of the strategic periphery which China has historically sought to weaken, control, or diplomatically manipulate.”