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New pattern in Chinese transgressions since Dokalam: Experts

New pattern in Chinese transgressions since Dokalam: Experts

New Delhi: The Chinese army's transgressions along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control with India appear to have undergone a shift to an attempt to construct permanent structures from the earlier pattern of creating temporary structures or destroying temporary structures made by India.

This was evident in the recent incident of transgression by bulldozer in Arunachal Pradesh, to parts of which China lays a claim, experts said. It was similar to the Dokalam incident that led to the 75-day standoff last year between the two countries in the territory claimed by both India's ally Bhutan and China, they said.

China's aim, according to experts, is to alter status quo along the LAC, which is why its army seeks to move as deep as it can into Indian territory to alter facts on the ground, on the basis of which it can later try to influence negotiations in boundary talks with India.

The recent Arunachal Pradesh episode is the first instance of transgression along LAC since re-election of President Xi Jinping as general secretary of the Communist Party of China, which put him in the league of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

The transgression reportedly occurred when state councillor Yang Jiechi was in Delhi for the 20th round of special representative talks on the boundary issue. "The common pattern in Dokalam and Arunachal Pradesh is assertion on China's perceived core interests — regardless of the region or opponent," said Chinese affairs expert Srikanth Kondapalli.

At the heart of the Sino-Indian boundary dispute is the issue of Arunachal Pradesh (90,000 sq km), which China describes as 'Southern Tibet'.

China has been demanding that at least the Tawang tract in Arunachal Pradesh, if not the whole of India's north-easternmost state, be transferred to China. While China has ruled out a boundary settlement without the transfer of at least Tawang, India has made it clear that there can be no compromise on Arunachal Pradesh.

There can't be any compromise even on Tawang, which is an area with a settled population, according to Indian officials, who have said that the government has repeatedly made it clear to China that the entire state is an integral part of India. China argues that since the sixth Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso was born in Tawang, it is close to the hearts and religious sentiments of the Tibetan people, and that India should make a concession on Tawang. The current Dalai Lama fled to India via Tawang in the late 1950s. Therefore, according to China, control over Tawang and Arunachal Pradesh is essential for it to fully establish its control over Tibet.

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