An Indian parliamentarian from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused Chinese troops of encroaching some 37 miles Indian territory in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, an area China considers as South Tibet. Tapir Gao, a member of the BJP, said that Chinese troops have built several bridges inside Indian territory and warned the Narendra Modi government about likely repercussions if this "national security issue" is ignored.
“Please do not allow the next Doklam like stand-off in Arunachal Pradesh, as China has encroached 50-60 kilometres (31-37 miles) of Indian Territory,” Tapir Gao, BJP parliamentarian from Arunachal Pradesh said while raising the issue in parliament on Tuesday.
The Arunachal East parliamentarian stated that the Asafila region, where the former Indian foreign minister served as an Army captain, is occupied by the Chinese. Gao added that the Atupupu Dibang valley was seized by China in 1984-85 and has not been returned.
The ruling party leader said that whenever the president, prime minister, defence minister or home minister visits the Indian state, strong objections are raised by China. This is not the first time that Gao has raised the issue of Chinese encroachment. Earlier in September this year the parliamentarian noted that the Chinese Army intruded into Arunachal Pradesh’s remote Anjaw district, constructing a bridge over a stream.
The 73-day Doklam standoff started in June 2017 after Indian troops guarding the Sikkim sector objected to road construction activities conducted by the Chinese Army at the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan. The standoff ended after both sides agreed to withdraw troops.
On 15 November, the Chinese foreign ministry, while objecting to the Indian defence minister's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, said that Beijing would never recognize Arunachal Pradesh as belonging to India.
“We urge the Indian side to respect China's interests and concerns, stop taking any moves that may complicate the boundary issue, and maintain peace and tranquility in the border region with concrete actions,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.
India and China share nearly 2400 miles of a loosely demarcated border. Both sides continually accuse each other of transgressing into their territory.