Keeping a close watch on reported deployment of battle tanks in Ladakh by the Indian army, China said the two countries should abide by pacts to maintain peace in border areas even as its media warned that the move may affect flow of Chinese investments into India.
“There have been a series of significant agreements and consensus reached between China and India on upholding stability of the border area,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang said, reacting to reports of deployment of T-72 tanks in the Ladakh sector.
“The two countries should abide by relevant agreements and consensus, work in concert to maintain peace and tranquillity of the border area and create a favourable environment for improving bilateral mutual trust and bolstering the proper settlement of the boundary question,” he told PTI in a written response to a question on the reported deployment.
“The China-India border area has long been peaceful and stable. The two countries are committed to resolving territorial disputes peacefully through negotiation, and agree to jointly manage disputes and maintain peace and tranquillity of the border area pending the final settlement of the boundary question,” he said.
However, an article in the state-run Global Times said the tank deployment may upset flow of Chinese investments into India and called for joint efforts to clear misunderstandings.
“A media report stating that nearly 100 Indian tanks have been positioned near the Indo-China border to counter any possible threat grabbed people’s attention as more Chinese firms are looking to increase their investment in India,” the article said.
“However, it is puzzling that while deploying tanks near China’s border, India still strives to woo Chinese investment,” it said.
“The deploying of tanks near the Indo-China border may hit a nerve within the Chinese business community, causing investors to weigh the threat of political instability when they make investment decisions,” the article said.
The article refers to reports of Indian army deployment of tanks in the Ladakh border to catch up with China’s aggressive military and infrastructure build-up across the border.
China too reportedly has major mechanised units on its side of the border and tank deployment was aimed at ensuring parity, the reports said.
The article said, “China and India share a large potential for economic and trade cooperation, and while this may make Chinese enterprises enthusiastic about investment opportunities in the Indian market, those firms should remain calm in the face of investing risks”.