Border dispute with India now part of China’s ‘core national interests’

Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury
Economic Times Bureau
September 26, 2014

NEW DELHI: China’s incursion in Ladakh is part of Beijing’s strategy to transgress into India after it included the border dispute with New Delhi in its ‘core national interests’ comprising Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang. China’s new Ambassador to India Le Yucheng indicated this less than a week after President Xi Jinping’s visit when the boundary dispute dominated the strategic discourse between the two sides. Le was speaking at an event on Xi’s visit to Delhi organised by the India East Asia Foundation, which is headed by Tarun Vijay, BJP leader and president of the India-China Parliamentary Friendship Group. “Our army under the leadership of the Communist Party of China serves to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation and to protect our core national interests,” Le had said on Wednesday, when he was asked if the stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops was a result of PLA’s independent move.

“PLA is fully under control of the Communist Party of China,” he said, dismissing speculation over disconnect between PLA and CPC .

Besides Tibet, Taiwan and Xinjiang where Beijing has territorial disputes, its core interests include maritime territorial disputes with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. Official sources said Le’s remark linking PLA’s latest transgression in Chumar with “core interest” is significant as it indicates China’s hardening of stand on its dispute with India.

ET had reported earlier that PLA transgresses into Chumar to neutralise India’s strategic advantage in the area and sent an unusual large contingent of troopers ahead of Xi’s visit to negotiate hard so that India is forced to dismantle its infrastructure there.

However, PM Narendra Modi’s tough stand on the issue and Indian Army’s decision to stay put to thwart any advantage to PLA has taken the latter by surprise, sources claimed.

Foreign affairs expert G Parthasarathy said: “After the Chinese signed an agreement with India on political parameters for boundary dispute in 2005, they have become aggressive. PLA will continue to press hard along LAC and we have to resist. They are militarily superior to us but they will not go to war. We have to handle Beijing in a matured fashion — engage economically, but resist their aggression.”