Modi grilled for muted response to China’s advance in Arunachal, LAC 

New Delhi, January 06, 2022 (PPI-OT):China’s construction of the Pangong Tso Bridge or settlements to the north of Arunachal Pradesh means that there is material change in the situation on the ground. And, this is fraught with adverse consequences for India, said an article published in an India-specific digital platform.

The article titled ‘Besides waving flag at China, India has little idea how to handle Beijing’s belligerence’ written by KS Dakshina Murthy said, “China’s act, of constructing a bridge across the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh, is the latest in a series of moves that appears to be carefully calibrated to benefit Beijing in the decades old boundary dispute with India.”

“India’s overall muted response to Chinese transgressions has given way to official silence with, as yet, no reaction to the ‘bridge-like construction’. Clearly, the Modi government does not want to take the issue head-on with Beijing,” the article wrote. A few days earlier, the article went on to add, China announced the change in names of 15 localities in Arunachal Pradesh. This comes after a first round of name-change in 2017 when it renamed Arunachal as Zangnan.

“The Chinese move seems to have strategic overtones. Beijing claims Arunachal Pradesh as the southern part of Tibet. The change of name implies an attempt to challenge India’s position on Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part of the country. Moreover, it suggests that the Chinese government will place Arunachal on the negotiating table as a disputed region if and when talks are held to solve the boundary dispute,” it said.

While the stand-off continues in the cold wilderness of the Himalayas, on the diplomatic front the Modi government has attempted to play down the situation, the writer added. Even the initial reaction after the Galwan clashes from none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself was one of caution when he said no outsider had entered Indian Territory Ladakh. No border post of the Indian Army had been captured by outside forces, the article added.

The article criticized the Modi government over its lukewarm reaction to the development. It said, “On a few occasions, including in international forums, the prime minister and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have criticised China’s intimidating tactics but without naming the country – an indication that the Modi government is unable or unwilling to call out China. “All that India has been able to do in retaliation is wave an Indian flag when Chinese troops flew their flag across the LAC in Galwan earlier this week, no more no less,” the writer added.

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