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China Wrecks Indian Wall Near Tawang

PTI 18 Aug 2011, 9:55:35 IST
PTI

New Delhi, August 18:  Chinese soldiers damaged a wall erected by India in the disputed area near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh in an incident being termed as the most important one along the Sino-Indian border this summer, Times of India reported.

A senior official said Indian soldiers promptly repaired the wall, and lodged a protest with the local Chinese military commander.

A senior official said the development, which took place a month ago, is the most serious incident along the Sino-Indian border this summer. During summer months, the two sides resort to various tactics to assert the disputed nature of the border. These include long patrols or drives through areas that each assert as disputed. However, it is not routine for each to damage other's property in the disputed areas.

A senior government official said the Chinese soldiers came across to the particular part of Yangtze where India has a wind-breaker wall, stretching for almost 200 metres, and damaged it. The wall, which is a few feet tall and from behind which Indian soldiers carry out occasional monitoring, is an old structure, he said.

The official said about a month ago the Indian side discovered that the Chinese soldiers had damaged the wall, by removing stones from it. He didn't say how extensive was the damage. He said the Indian side lodged a formal protest at a meeting of the local commanders. Indian soldiers also promptly rebuilt the wall, he said.

While the India-China border remains relatively peaceful, such nagging issues continue to highlight the disputed nature of the 4,057-kilometre Line of Actual Control between the two Asian giants.

The official said there have also been at least a couple of instances this summer when the Chinese soldiers tried to drive through the disputed area manned by Indian troops in the Finger Area in northern Sikkim. "Our soldiers stood their ground, and didn't let them go through," he said.

Officials said they do not see any "qualitative" change in the border situation this summer, compared to recent summers. But they added that they are worried about the slow pace of infrastructure development and military modernization. An Army proposal to set up a Mountain Strike Corps for the border is pending with the ministry of defence, while infrastructural developments such as road and rail links are far behind schedule.