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More India troops in disputed territory
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India is attempting to extend its control over a disputed border area also claimed by China, experts said Tuesday, in response to reports that New Delhi was deploying "thousands more troops" in parts of "Arunachal Pradesh".

Reuters quoted a "governor of the remote state" as saying India will deploy "two army divisions comprising 25,000 to 30,000 soldiers each".

"It (the deployment) was part of the planned augmentation of our capabilities to defend the country ... The increase in force strength is to meet the future national security challenge," J.J. Singh told Reuters.

The report also said New Delhi would bring more firepower into the disputed zone - adding 155 mm guns, helicopters and unmanned aircraft.

Ye Hailin, an expert in India studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said New Delhi is strengthening its control because it "knows clearly that China will not resort to military action to solve the problem".

"India is adopting this means to make its control over the area an accepted fact," Ye said.

India and China fought a brief war over the 3,500 km Himalayan border area in 1962.

Although the neighbors signed a treaty and agreed to maintain "peace and tranquility" along the disputed frontier and also agreed to find a political solution, talks have made little progress.

"It (additional deployment) is not helpful to resolve the border dispute, and could easily cause regional tension," said Sun Shihai, who is also with the CASS.

"The chance of a border conflict is not big, if India does not instigate it," he added, noting China wants peaceful solutions through dialogue.

(China Daily June 10, 2009)

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