A couple of days after India positioned around 100 tanks in Ladakh near the Sino-Indian border, China has urged India to maintain peace and stability in the region.

Senior spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Lu Kang has said that the Sino-Indian border has always been “stable”, adding that the two neighbouring countries should resolve their territorial disputes through peaceful negotiation. After positioning the tanks near the border, India had justified its move by saying that deployment of T-72 tanks to the Chinese border should be considered as New Delhi’s reaction to an “increase in force levels” from across the border. However, Lu rejected India’s argument, saying that Beijing did not increase its military presence in the border region.

Speaking at a press conference in the Chinese capital over the weekend, the spokesperson said: “The two countries should abide by relevant agreements and consensus, work in concert to maintain peace and tranquillity of the border area and create a favourable environment for improving bilateral mutual trust and bolstering the proper settlement of the boundary question.” He recalled that Beijing and New Delhi had reached “significant agreements” on the border dispute. But, India’s recent move could hamper Chinese investments in the South Asian country, he stressed.

China’s ‘Global Times’ daily, too, has expressed serious concern over India’s recent move. In an article published over the weekend, the daily said: “It is puzzling that while deploying tanks near China’s border, India still strives to woo Chinese investment. The deployment of tanks near the Indo-China border may hit a nerve within the Chinese businesses community, causing investors to weigh the threat of political instability when they make investment decisions.”

Meanwhile, the Indian media have reported that New Delhi will send more thanks to the Chinese border as a precautionary measure, as the Indian Army has come to know that China is prepared to hit India with 60,000-80,000 soldiers in the case of any hostilities. Top Indian Army officer and Commander of the Army’s Leh-based 14 Crops Lieutenant General S K Patyal stressed that India is ready “to defend our international borders, whatever it takes in terms of infrastructure and accretion. We are doing it in the best possible manner”.

Koushik Das, based in the Indian capital of New Delhi, is a senior news editor with more than 15 years of experience. He also runs a blog - Boundless Ocean of Politics. E-Mail: [email protected]