Troops from the People’s Liberation Army recently intruded into the Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh triggering an alarm along the disputed Sino-Indian boundary, a few weeks before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The development comes a year after the 72-day military face-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam Plateau in western Bhutan.
More than 10 Chinese soldiers were spotted in the upper Dibang region of the northeastern state.
Locals photographed them and brought the matter to the notice of Indian Army officials, who asked the PLA troops to return.
The crossover that took place in July came to light on Monday ahead of the scheduled Modi-Xi meeting on the sidelines of G20 summit in Buenos Aires in Argentina where the two leaders will discuss bilateral issues. The G20 summit will be held on November 30-December 1.
Modi and Xi had met twice following their informal summit in Wuhan — at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in June in Qingdao, China, and at the Brics summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, in July.
After the Wuhan summit, the two countries decided to bury the ghosts of Doklam and move ahead to maintain peace and tranquillity along the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control. When the defence ministers of the two sides met in August, they also agreed on “greater interaction at the working level”.
The intrusion happening within a few months was dealt with laid-down procedures. The Chinese troops responded positively when it was pointed out to them that they strayed into what is perceived to be the Indian territory.
Due to a difference in perceptions about the border, transgression of PLA troops into Indian territory is a regular affair. But the number of such crossovers can vary in accordance with bilateral relations.
“Due to changing perception of the Line of Actual Control, patrols do go till their perception. The PLA soldiers did that. On being conveyed, the Chinese patrols returned to their territory,” Army sources told DH.
Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui on Monday disclosed the Modi-Xi meeting plans along the sidelines of the annual multilateral conference. The ambassador was speaking at an event to train Afghan diplomats jointly by India and China.
Luo said China’s State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi is also scheduled to visit India in December for the launch of the first India-China high-level people-to-people exchange mechanism.