India continues to beef up its defence along its border with China in Arunachal Pradesh, despite protests and warnings from Chinese analysts and the Chinese media.
The Indian Air Force now plans to upgrade six air-strips near the border to make movement of troops and equipment to the region easier.
Hindustan Times had reported on Thursday that the Indian Army was planning to deploy a new 15,000-strong division in Arunachal within four weeks.
On Friday, Zhao Gancheng, director of the South Asia Research Division of the Shanghai International Affairs Research Institute was quoted in the state-run Global Times, as saying: “Indian officials have tried to convince us the border is
peaceful. But now the fact (of India’s reported border deployment) betrays the words.”
China has for long claimed almost all of Arunachal Pradesh as its territory.
The six airstrips are all within 40 km of the border. Following the renovation, much bigger and heavier aircraft than before will be able to land there, defence sources said.
“Reactivating these airstrips is an integral part of the modernisation of Air Force infrastructure,” said an IAF official.
The measures were taken to counter similar efforts by China on the other side of the border, defence sources added.