China inching closer in Arunachal | delhi | Hindustan Times
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China inching closer in Arunachal

delhi Updated: Oct 04, 2011 01:21 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times
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That China has intensified focus on Arunachal Pradesh - or so-called south Tibet - is becoming increasingly clear, with the People's Liberation Army crossing the perceived Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the eastern sector more frequently than ever.

The PLA has also increased forays by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the West and East Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

Top government sources said in the other part of the eastern LAC - Sikkim, especially the Nathu La area - there had been no intrusion since 78 transgressions in 2008.

But in north Arunachal, the PLA is not even allowing the locals to cross the Dichu river that marks the border between India and China to come to India for trade, a centuries-old tradition.

A part of the Dichu - a tributary of the Lohit - is disputed by the two countries.

There were 90 intrusions, including 13 PLA patrols, so far this year against 88 (12 PLA patrols) in 2010 and another 123 (six PLA patrols) the previous year.

Although the Indian army has begun focusing on the area this year, it is yet to send any patrol to the area to mark its presence.

The situation in Yangtse area on the LAC in Arunachal is a matter of concern to the government as the PLA has been particularly assertive in this area and had even pulled down a wall constructed by the Indian troops.

There have been two intrusions till now this year compared to one in 2010 and none in 2009. The Indian side has sent more than eight patrols so far to counter the PLA and mark its presence.

Away from Arunachal, the PLA is also sending out patrols to the Barahoti plains in north Uttarakhand. There have been eight intrusions so far in 2011 compared to nine last year.