The reference - "India's turbulent northern state borders China" -was seen as a hint to Kashmir as China shares a significant section of that border ceded to it by Pakistan as part of the 1963 border agreement.
Amid the raging row over the Dalai Lama’s Arunachal Pradesh visit, state media here warned India today that China with its superior military could engage in a “geopolitical game” as India’s “turbulent northern state” borders the country, a veiled reference to Kashmir. “With a GDP several times higher than that of India, military capabilities that can reach the Indian Ocean and having good relations with India’s peripheral nations, coupled with the fact that India’s turbulent northern state borders China, if China engages in a geopolitical game with India, will Beijing lose to New Delhi?”, state-run Global Times said in a stinging editorial.
The reference – “India’s turbulent northern state borders China” -was seen as a hint to Kashmir as China shares a significant section of that border ceded to it by Pakistan as part of the 1963 border agreement. Under the agreement sovereignty over hundreds of square kilometers of land in northern Kashmir and Ladakh was ceded to China.
The agreement which was not recognised by India is subject to the settlement of the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) which stretches to 3,488 km includes significant sections of Kashmir and parts of Ladakh. It also includes Aksai Chin area which China took control over during the 1962 war. China says that the boundary dispute is confined to 2,000 kms, mainly in Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern sector.
During the past few days, the Chinese government and its media have been expressing indignation over the Dalai Lama’s visit to Tawang, hardly 25 km from the LAC.
For a number of years India has grappled with transgressions from China along the LAC by the Chinese troops especially in the Ladakh sector and a few times in the eastern sector.
The Global Times editorial said, “The Dalai Lama has been to the disputed region before, but what makes this trip different is that he is received and accompanied by India’s Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju.” The editorial in the tabloid, known for striking aggressive nationalistic postures, stated that New Delhi probably “overestimates” its leverage in the bilateral ties.
“If New Delhi ruins the Sino-India ties and the two countries turn into open rivals, can India afford the consequence,” it said. Another state-run newspaper China Daily, in its editorial, said, “New Delhi not only allowed the 14th Dalai Lama to visit Southern Tibet, a historical Chinese territory India has illicitly occupied and refers to as ‘Arunachal Pradesh’, but the spiritual leader of ‘Tibetan independence’ was also escorted on the trip by India’s junior minister of home affairs.” “To Beijing, that is a double affront,” it said.”
Despite the historical dispute, the China-India border area has by and large remained peaceful recently, particularly since Beijing and New Delhi began to get serious about border talks, it said. “If New Delhi chooses to play dirty, however, Beijing should not hesitate to answer blows with blows,” the paper said. The Dalai Lama is currently on a nine-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh.