China has once again urged India to take necessary steps for maintaining peace and stability in the region.
On Thursday, the Chinese Defence Ministry said in a statement that India should scrap its plan to station advanced cruise missiles along the “disputed” border between the two countries. The Chinese ministry made the request after Indian Armed Forces officials revealed their plan to build up military and civilian infrastructure capabilities in border areas. They also revealed that the Indian Army would equip regiments, deployed on the Sino-Indian border, with ‘BrahMos’ missiles.
Beijing expressed serious concern over the Indian Army’s plan, saying that it was the duty of two nuclear-armed Asian neighbours to create proper environment in order to resolve all outstanding bilateral issues through peaceful negotiation. According to the statement, it is unfortunate that New Delhi and Beijing have failed to resolve their border dispute despite trying hard since 1962 war between the two countries.
Commenting on India’s missile plans, senior spokesperson of the Chinese Defence Ministry Wu Qian said that India had agreed to maintain peace and stability in the border region in the past. However, New Delhi has started sending more troops to the border area in recent times, he added. Wu further said: “We hope that the Indian side can do more to benefit peace and stability along the border and in the region, rather than the opposite.”
Earlier, India strongly criticised the Asian giant for laying claim to more than 90,000sqkm ruled by New Delhi in the eastern part of the Himalayas, saying that China illegally occupied 38,000sqkm of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west. India also slammed China for providing political and economic support to its arch-rival – Pakistan. Beijing’s moves have prompted New Delhi to export missiles to five South-East Asian countries, including Vietnam, which are engaged in a dispute with Beijing over the South China Sea.
Interestingly, the Chinese ministry issued the statement ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the upcoming G-20 Summit. Indian foreign policy experts have opined that Beijing is trying to normalise the situation so that President Xi can get an opportunity to discuss different aspects of bilateral ties in a favourable atmosphere. So far, the Indian government has made no comment on the statement issued by the Chinese ministry.