Saturday, December 7, 2013

Through Metok, China tunnels its way to India

Metok County, the Paradise on Earth?
My article Through Metok, China tunnels its way to India was published on December 5 in the Edit Page of The Pioneer.

Beijing has been trying to set up transport connectivity to the remote Tibetan region, close to the McMahon line, for long. It has now succeeded, and with immense consequences for the defence of Arunachal Pradesh

A Chinese website affiliated with the official Xinhua news agency,
China Tibet Online, recently gave what it calls ‘fast facts on controversial Arunachal Pradesh’: “The recent Indian President’s visit to the so-called Arunachal Pradesh has triggered the controversial discussion of border issue between China and India again”. Commenting on President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Arunachal, Xinhua said that Beijing ‘urged’ India “to refrain from moves that complicate boundary issues and work with China to create conditions for talks”. The claims and the counter-claims aside, an important aspect of the border dispute is the infrastructure development close to the McMahon Line. Here the Chinese are far in advance of India.
As Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao landed in Delhi in December 2010, Xinhua dropped a bombshell: “The tunnel of highway linking Tibet’s Metok completed”. With Metok located just north of the McMahon Line, this development heralded one of the most important strategic changes for the defence of India’s north-eastern border.

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