India's Home Minister Rajnath Singh recently visited an Indo-Tibetan Border Police camp in Indian territory. As may have become the new norm in China, many scholars and security experts here however saw the visit with suspicious eyes and one such expert even termed it a 'provocative move.'
Warning that India will continue 'disturbing' China on border issues in 2018, Wang Dehua, head of the Institute for South and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Municipal Center for International Studies, questioned the intention. "The minister's visit is essentially a provocative move after the Doklam standoff in 2017, for the so-called 'Indo-Tibetan Border Police,' which recruits multiple nationalities, has strong connections with the Dalai Lama clique," he told state-run Global Times on Monday.
Dehua then went a step further and said India is guilty of widespread spying acitivites.
Qian Feng, a researcher at the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies and a senior fellow of Tsinghua University's National Strategy Institute, also accused India of increasing military presence - even if he chose not to comment on increased PLA presence on the Chinese side of the border. "Besides visiting the disputed border area, India will very likely continue to strengthen its military presence on the border," he said. "India fears China will grow too strong to deal with by 2030."
In recent months since the Doklam standoff, it is China though which has stepped up activity in border areas. Whenever an Indian minister comes calling at border areas on the Indian side, Beijing raises a silent alarm. This despite the fact that the presence of Chinese troops have steadily increased in areas like Doklam, that bunkers have been built, surveillence equipments placed and pace of road contructions quickened.
At a time when China continues to have troubles with other countries like Japan, Taiwan and Phillipines, Beijing says its own policy is one of peace and development. Most neighbours though remain mostly pensive.