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Arunachal Pradesh News: India opens a bridge in Arunachal Pradesh that sets the stage for the confrontation in China | India News


NEW DELHI: India has opened a new 40-tonne all-weather bridge in Arunachal Pradesh to allow for faster movement of troops and artillery.

The new bridge may become another irritating potential in India-China relations.

“That part of the border has always had a sticking point between India and China. The lack of reliable, all-weather connectivity was vulnerability,” said Nitin Gokhale, a strategic affairs expert based in New Delhi. “The new bridge and the improved highway outgrow it and ensure uninterrupted supply to troops.”

The new access along the border with China comes amid heightened tensions between the two nations after Beijing accused India of blocking its businesses in the South Asian nation after New Delhi tightened laws so that foreign investors acquire local companies. The bridge is located in a region that witnessed a multi-month military clash in 2017 over the Doklam Plateau, claimed by China and Bhutan, India’s ally. It was one of the most serious crises since China won a border war with India in 1962.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not respond to a message seeking comment.

India claims the Chinese military violated the 3,478-kilometer (2,167-mile) long unmarked border, parts of which are in dispute more than 600 times, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is not public.

“India and China have different perceptions of the border,” Indian Army spokesman Aman Anand said Thursday. “Perceived transgressions are the result of the perceived limit.”

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is increasing its infrastructure along the border, which it says is not aimed at any particular country, but at the development of remote border areas. It has completed 74 strategic roads along the eastern border, with plans to finish 20 more by next year, the people said. It will cut the time it takes to move and supplies in half and help 431 villages throughout the region during the Covid-19 outbreak.

India amended its foreign investment law by making it mandatory for companies from countries that share a land border to acquire local companies only after seeking government approval. The measure, which reduces the risk of opportunistic acquisitions as the coronavirus outbreak reduces valuations by Indian companies, has so far only been applied to FDI from Bangladesh and Pakistan. India shares its land border with seven countries, including China.

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