China has mobilized thousands of paratroopers to areas close to its border with India in what the Middle Kingdom is calling a “military drill.” The move comes amidst serious tensions over that past few months, despite reports of successful peace talks between the two nations over the weekend.
According to The South China Morning Post, state media announced that paratroopers, armored vehicles, and military equipment had been deployed from the province of Hubei to an “unspecified” location near the Himalayan border. The government claimed that the troops could arrive at the border with India in “just a few hours.”
As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, thousands of troops had already flooded into the border regions from both sides over the past few weeks after conflicts on May 5 and May 9 left “hundreds” of soldiers from both the Chinese and Indian militaries wounded.
The timing of the recent maneuvers has raised eyebrows, as it comes shortly after the Chinese foreign ministry claimed that the situation between the rival Asian nations was “under control” after talks this past weekend were reported to have gone well.
Though critics might see the troop movements increasing rather than decreasing tensions, officials — such as Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying — continue to claim that the situation remains “stable, under control and mutual in terms of solving problems.”
“We have reached one consensus – that both sides have to carry out the previous consensus made by the top leadership so as to avoid escalating a disagreement into a dispute,” Hua continued.
“We have to make efforts to maintain stability and peace in our border regions and create a healthy atmosphere for our bilateral relations to develop,” she concluded.
However, some experts remain unconvinced by the reports of peace talks. For example, Li Li, a South Asia specialist at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said she expected more military posturing from both sides.
“The military deployment from both countries to the region will not ease before this border issue is resolved,” Li said. “[These] competitive capacity-building activities will continue.”
The disputed territory along the border has been a point of contention between China and India for decades. Areas in the north, close to Kashmir, have been claimed by India though most maps consider them Chinese territory.
The situation is reversed in the Eastern area of India between Bangladesh and Myanmar, known as Arunachal Pradesh. International consensus considers the region to be Indian, it has been claimed to be Chinese territory by the ruling Communist Party.