India Nervous As Tibetan Military Lockdown Increases Strength
Mar. 9 – India is becoming increasingly concerned as a massive Chinese military presence swarms into Tibet to guard against any civil protests marking the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising and the subsequent fleeing of the Dalai Lama to India.
Border crossings are now closed, and China's significant military presence so close to India is raising speculation in a country already ringed with border security problems and violence in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma and Sri Lanka.
The Indian border with Tibet is approximately 2115km long and is guarded on the Indian side by the Indo–Tibetan Border Police. While the ITBP extends its duties to cover the full extent of the Chinese border, a total of 3488km it also works in conjunction with the Indian Army and possesses its own elite commando team, providing security elsewhere in the region for Indian diplomatic personnel, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Media sources in India say the ITBP are becoming increasingly anxious of Chinese military activity “way beyond what would be considered normal for security and potential social unrest matters relating to the 50th Anniversary”. The Indian military is afraid they themselves might have to take measures to boost military along the entire length of the Chinese border should the Chinese military presence remain “longer than appears necessary”. The movement of troops is expected to impact India’s abilities to deal with Pakistan along its western border, protect itself from the clashes in Bangladesh, and potential conflicts in the south.
The anniversary, which is tomorrow, is hoped to pass off without incident. Yet the fear remains that China, which has just announced an increase in military spending and has claims on Indian territory, is also using the 50th anniversary of the Tibet uprising to show off its military muscle to India.
India meanwhile remains glued to breaking news reports across the length of the China border monitoring signs for any “further unusual or unwarranted activity.”
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