Pentagon report on China’s militarization of border with India irks Beijing
By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, May 16: Furious at the report by Pentagon indicating China’s increased defense presence along the border with India, Beijing demanded the US to respect the efforts by China and India to resolve their boundary dispute peacefully.
In its annual report to the Congress on Chinese military activities, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia, Abraham M Denmark said over the weekend, “We have noticed an increase in capability and force posture by the Chinese military in areas close to the border with India”, reported NDTV May 16.
“China and India are wise and capable enough to deal with this issue. It is hoped that other country would respect efforts made by China and India for the peaceful settlement of dispute, rather than the opposite,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, apparently referring to the US, reports National Herald (an Indian newspaper established in 1938 by Jawaharlal Nehru) May 16.
Expressing “strong dissatisfaction” and “firm opposition” to the Pentagon report, China’s Defense Ministry spokesman, Yang Yujun blamed US of severely damaging mutual trust between India and China, state news agency Xinhua reported.
Defending their increased defense presence along the border with India, Yang said, “China follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature,” and added that the country’s military build-up and reforms are aimed at maintaining sovereignty, security and territorial integrity to guarantee China’s peaceful development.
In an earlier Pentagon report, Washington has accused Beijing of militarizing the South China Sea while Beijing, in turn, has criticized increased US naval patrols and exercises in Asia. To make matters worse for India, the report also warned of increasing Chinese military presence in various parts of the world, particularly in Pakistan.