Beijing: Hours before the arrival of Defence Minister AK Antony in Beijing for high-level talks, a hawkish Chinese General on Thursday warned India against provoking "new trouble" by increasing its military deployment at the border. "There is no denying that there are tensions and problems between China and India particularly at the border areas," Major General Luo Yuan, Executive Vice President and Secretary General of China Strategy Culture Promotion Association, said.
"There is still problem of 90,000 sq km of territory still occupied by the Indian side. These are the problems left over from history and we should look at it with cool head," he said while talking to foreign correspondents in Beijing. He was replying to a question about People's Liberation Army's (PLA) views on India-China relations in the backdrop of Antony's visit starting from Thursday night. Luo's statement was promptly raised by India with China, official sources said.
Chinese side said they were looking forward to Defence Minister Antony's visit and conveyed that the statement is not reflective of Chinese official view. General Luo, known for his hawkish and extreme views on China's strategic and military relations with its neighbours and the US, said, "The Indian side should not provoke new problems and increase the military deployment at the border areas and start new trouble."
India is the only country in the world which says it is developing military power due to China's threat, he said adding that "India should be cautious about what it says and what it does". Luo's 90,000 sq km remark referred to China's claim to Arunachal Pradesh which it calls as southern Tibet. India asserts that the border dispute covered 4,000 km along Line Actual Control (LAC), while China states that the dispute was confined to 2,000 km that is Arunachal Pradesh. The two sides held their last boundary talks on June 28.
Antony is the first Indian Defence Minister in seven years to visit China. He will have formal talks with his Chinese counterpart General Chang Wanquan in Beijing on Friday. "Both ministers are expected to discuss a number of issues, including those related to maintenance of peace and tranquillity on the border... and matters relating to regional and global security," the Defence ministry said in a statement in Delhi.
Antony is expected to call on Premier Li Keqiang besides visiting a military unit and a command centre during the four-day visit, official sources said in Beijing.