People’s Liberation Army

Gideon Rachman

Activists of the Indian right-wing Hindu organisation Shiv Sena burn a China national flag in protest against Chinese troops moving onto disputed territory on April 25 (NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images)

Activists of the Indian right-wing Hindu organisation Shiv Sena burn a Chinese flag in protest against troops moving into Indian-controlled territory on April 25 (NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images)

Rising tensions with Japan are evidently not enough to keep China busy. The People’s Liberation Army has now also pitched tents in a bit of disputed territory, controlled by India, creating an embarrassing security dilemma for the Delhi government. Official India’s initial reaction has been to play the incident down. I encountered an Indian diplomat in Beijing last week, who speculated that the whole thing was probably an initiative by an over-zealous local Chinese commander – and assured me that it would all be smoothed over. But that was five days ago, now – and the Chinese are still there.

As a result, the Indian government is increasingly open to charges of weakness – or even appeasement. Brahma Chellaney, one of India’s most hawkish commentators, fumes that “China is encroaching little by little on Indian land” and accuses the government of Manmohan Singh of “bending over backward at a time of aggression”. Read more

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