Report: China Beefing Up Military Presence Near Indian Border

Last week, lawmakers adopted China's first-ever dedicated anti-terrorism law. The new law's most interesting provision, as far as foreign observers are concerned, is an article authorizing the Chinese military to take part in counter-terrorism missions abroad. Will China now join the Syrian, Russian and Iranian-led anti-terror campaign in Syria?

Beijing has deployed more military troops to the Doklam region that sits along the China-India border, which hosted a standoff between the two Asian rivals this year.

Both Beijing and Indian-backed Bhutan have claimed ownership of Doklam territory, known as Donglang in China.

Citing Indian media reports, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports about the Chinese military build-up:

Analysts suggested the development would allow China to tighten its control of its borders and prepare for any future problems in the region.

It [China] is also improving its military infrastructure, including new mortar and gun positions, at a site between five and 10km from the site of this summer’s two-month stand-off, Indian media reported, citing satellite imagery acquired on December 3.

According to the Morning Post, the satellite pictures show the presence of at least nine three-story buildings and nearly 300 large vehicles in Tibet that reportedly belong to China.

SCMP learned from Indian media that Beijing has also deployed military forces to the nearby Chumbi valley where the borders of India, China, and Bhutan intersect.

The Morning Post reports:

The build-up follows reports in early October that about 1,000 Chinese soldiers had remained in the Himalayan region, and were likely to stay in the area throughout winter for the first time.

The Indian Army already has several units in Sikkim province facing the Chinese in Doklam – which is claimed by both China and India’s ally Bhutan.

China’s efforts to extend a road into the Doklam region triggered the standoff between the two countries earlier this year.

Tensions between Beijing and New Delhi escalated after Indian troops “physically prevented” China from stretching the road.

Ultimately, “after nearly 70 days of soldiers from both sides staring down at each other just 150 meters apart, the conflict, described as the worst in decades, subsided with both countries accepting that they were withdrawing their troops, though details were sketchy,” explained India’s NDTV.

China and its ally Pakistan consider India to be their regional rival.

News of the Chinese troop increase comes as foreign ministers from Russia, China, and India reportedly agreed on a comprehensive approach to combating terrorism during their annual meeting Monday.

Although China faces a growing Islamic terrorist threat stemming from neighboring Pakistan, it continues to provide economic and military support to Islamabad.

Russia, China, and India condemned state-sponsored terrorism without explicitly naming Pakistan.

Echoing some U.S. lawmakers, India has designated Pakistan a leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Pakistan accuses Hindus running the Indian government of being terrorists.


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