x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Chinese general warns India over border dispute

Outspoken Chinese general known for his nationalist views warns India not to stir up 'new trouble' in a long-running border dispute, on eve of Indian defence minister's visit to Beijing.

BEIJING // An outspoken Chinese general known for his nationalist views warned India yesterday not to stir up "new trouble" in a long-running border dispute, just as New Delhi's defence minister was about to visit Beijing.

"The Indian side should not provoke new problems and increase military deployment at the border areas and stir up new trouble," said Maj Gen Luo Yuan.

The deputy director general of the world military research department at a People's Liberation Army academy, Gen Luo described himself as a "reasonable hardliner".

He made waves last year when he questioned the legitimacy of Japanese sovereignty over the Ryukyu Islands, a chain that hosts numerous US military bases.

"India is the only country in the world that says it is developing its military power because of China's military threat," said Gen Luo. "So I believe that India should be very cautious in what it does and what it says."

A high-altitude frontier dispute between the nuclear-armed nations has simmered in the Himalayas for decades and intensified in May when New Delhi claimed Chinese troops had intruded nearly 20 kilometres into Indian-claimed territory.

A three-week standoff was resolved after talks between local military leaders and a withdrawal of troops from both sides.

The border situation was now generally "under control" following a visit to India in May by the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, Mr Luo said.

His comments came as the Indian defence chief, AK Antony was due to arrive in China for three days of talks, the first such trip in seven years.

His visit, accompanied by military commanders, coincides with a trip to China by Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif.