India’s complex diplomacy with China became further muddled on Friday as the chief of the Indian army categorically denied any troop build-up on either side of the Asian giants’ shared border in response to recent reports of Chinese military incursions into Indian territory.
India’s civil government and army officials strike a delicate balancing act in their position on the country’s powerful neighbour, with a hawkish military stance traditionally tempered by more reserved – but domestically unpopular – rhetoric from New Delhi.
However that appeared to be out of date on Friday as General V.K. Singh, Chief of Army staff said neither side was bolstering its border troops, four days after trashing media reports of potential acts of Chinese aggression on Indian soil last September.
“Force deployment on both the sides of the Sino-Indian border has not increased. The force deployment is exactly the same as has been there for a large number of years,” Singh told reporters.
“In this region, the Chinese patrols go up to their perceived region and our patrols go up to our perceived region.”