New Delhi: India’s strong rejection of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh and China’s objections to Beijing is a script every time an Indian leader visits a strategically important northeastern state.
Venkaiah Naidu visited Arunachal Pradesh in October and addressed a special session of the state assembly.
India’s sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh is internationally recognized and recognized. However, China refuses to accept this fact and demands it from the entire state.
To reinforce his demand, every time an Indian leader visits Arunachal Pradesh, China parrots and responds strongly and unequivocally to India.
Why Arunachal Pradesh?
Arunachal Pradesh, also known as the North-East Frontier Organization (NEFA) until 1 August2, is the largest state in the northeast and shares international borders with Tibet in the north and northwest, Bhutan in the west and Myanmar in the east.
The state is like a defensive ield in the northeast.
However, China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet.
And while China can claim the entire state, its main interest is in Tawang district, which is located in the northwestern part of Arunachal Pradesh and on the border of Bhutan and Tibet.
China’s interest in Tawang may be due to strategic reasons as it strategically enters India’s northeast.
Tawang is an important point in the corridor between Tibet and the Brahmaputra Valley.

Tawang Monastery
Moreover, Tawang also hosts Tawang Ganden Namgyal Latse (Tawang Monastery), the second largest monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in the world.
In honor of the wishes of the Fifth Dalai Lama, Merag Lodro founded the Jamatso Monastery in 1680-81.

China claims that the monastery proves that the district once belonged to Tibet. They support their claim on Arunachal by citing the historical ties between Tawang Monastery and Lhasa Monastery in Tibet.
Despite the fact that the 1914 Shimla Convention, which included a Chinese delegation in tandem with a Tibetan delegation, gave birth to the McMahon Line, separating Tibet from India in the Eastern Sector. It has clearly defined the border between India and Tibet.


Cultural connections and concerns of China
Tawang is an important center of Tibetan Buddhism. There are some tribes in the upper Arunachal region who have cultural connections with the people of Tibet. The Monpa tribal people practice Tibetan Buddhism and are also found in some parts of Tibet.
According to some experts, China fears that the ethnic group’s presence in Arunachal Pradesh could at some point lead to a pro-democracy Tibetan movement against Beijing.
Political importance
1 When the Dalai Lama fled Tibet during the Chinese subjugation in 1959, he entered India via Tawang and stayed at the Tawang Monastery for some time.


Bhutan factor
If Beijing gained control of Arunachal Pradesh, it would mean that the state of Bhutan would have China as its neighbor on both the western and eastern borders.

China is already building motorized roads to connect strategic points in western Bhutan. According to reports, China wants to extend its road from Doka La to Gamochin, which is guarded by the Indian Army. China’s efforts to move closer to the Siliguri corridor pose a security threat to both India and Bhutan.
What’s more, China is expanding its rail network in the region which could give its military a huge advantage.
Strategic position of Arunachal
Arunachal Pradesh is the closest place for India to target China with missiles. Also, Arunachal is the best place for India to deploy multi-layer air defense system for possible attack from China. Thus control over Arunachal will give China a strategic advantage.
Water power
We all know that China has control over India’s water supply in the Northeast. It has built several dams and could use water as a geo-strategic weapon against India by creating floods or droughts in the region.
The Tsangpo River, which originates in Tibet, flows into India and was known as Siang in Arunachal Pradesh before it became the Brahmaputra.
In 2000, a dam breach in Tibet caused floods in northeastern India, killing 30 people and leaving more than 100 missing.


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