A mobilization meeting for the construction of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway (Ya’an-Nyingchi section) was held in Beijing on November 8, via video, Chinese mouthpiece Xinhua reported. Vice Premier Liu He, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, delivered Xi’s important instructions, and announced the start of construction of the railway from Ya’an to Nyingchi. Xi stressed that it is necessary to make full use of the advantages of China’s socialist system, which can concentrate resources to accomplish a major task.
The Chinese President also called the project a major step in safeguarding national unity and consolidating border stability, and significant to promoting economic and social development of western region. The construction of project is significant for India as the Railway brings yet another challenge for India, as the railway in addition to other services will assist China in rapid deployment of logistics to Indian border through this line.
With the rise in border tensions along India-China borders in Ladakh, the Indian government had decided to ramp-up the infrastructure in the region. A full drawn construction cycle has, hence, begun. India is all set to increase its foundation along the borders with China and the Authorities have stated that the work on upwards of 42 strategic Indo-China Border Roads (ICBRs) will be completed before 2022. For this project, the Central Government had recognized 73 “strategic roads” along the China border.
Although this is a step to ensure India’s stability in times of conflict, and ease in deployment of troops, if need arise; China gets alarmed and envisages the constructions to be fraught with danger for them. Any construction work is met with severe opposition from China’s end.
China has always publicized its predatory behavior while maintaining a patronizing façade. China says that it “welcomes” any kind of construction work if it comes from the motive of economic development and helps the civilians. One cannot be oblivious to the well-established fact that China has never cared for the development of any other nation except its own. This can be proven by just looking a little across the border, at the condition of Tibet. China had occupied Tibet in 1950 and continues to commit mass atrocities. Beijing says Tibet has grown impressively under its rule. However, rights groups state China continues to disregard basic human rights. They blame Beijing for political and religious oppression. Beijing denies any such abuses.
Reacting to Indian infrastructure development on the border, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin recently said “We are opposed to conducting infrastructure development for military purposes in the border area. Based on the two sides’ consensus no side should engage in the border areas in any activities that might complicate the situation to avoid undermining efforts by the two sides to ease the situation…”
Although Indian analysts agree that China has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal matters, there is something that is ascertained by this reckless behavior put on display by China; its innate hypocrisy.
On one hand they give big talks about maintaining peace and adhering to the consensus reached by India and China bilaterally, on the other hand they start conflicts which result in deadly battles. The Galwan Valley clash in the month of June this year was a proof of that. All the more shocking is the fact that China has never really backed off from any kind of construction work on their side of the border, it only objects the construction if it is being conducted in India.
While the Chinese have already built roads on their side of the contested region and has also encroached upon the territory of Nepal to construct edifices, it vehemently opposes India’s push on its border infrastructure.
India’s construction of border infrastructure a sign of confident nation, that it is ready to defend its frontiers with full operational and logistical readiness in both inhospitable terrains as well as in inhospitable climatic conditions.