China’s grenzeloze strijdlust

NEW DELHI – In de afgelopen jaren heeft het Chinese Volksbevrijdingsleger (VBL) geprofiteerd van zijn groeiende politieke macht om lokale schermutselingen en impasses uit te lokken met India door het overschrijden van de lange en betwiste Himalayagrens van de twee landen. De recente intensivering van zulke grensschendingen door het Volksbevrijdingsleger impliceert belangrijke gevolgen voor het aanstaande bezoek van president Xi Jinping aan India, en voor de toekomst van de bilaterale verhoudingen.

Dit soort provocaties zijn vaak voorafgegaan aan bezoeken aan India door Chinese leiders. Het was bijvoorbeeld vlak voor het bezoek van Hu Jintao in 2006 dat China zijn claim op de grote noordoostelijke Indiase staat Arunachal Pradesh nieuw leven in blies.

Ook begon China voorafgaand aan de trip naar India van premier Wen Jiabao in 2010 visa uit te geven op losse stukjes papier die in de paspoorten geniet waren van bewoners van Kasjmir die China binnen wilden komen; een indirecte uitdaging van de Indiase soevereiniteit. Bovendien verkortte China plotseling de lengte van zijn grens met India door het intrekken van de erkenning van de 1597 kilometer lange grens die het Indiase Kasjmir scheidt van het Chinese Kasjmir. En het bezoek van premier Li Keqiang afgelopen mei volgde op een diepe inbreuk van het Chinese leger in de Indiase Ladakh regio, schijnbaar bedoeld om de Chinese woede over de verlate Indiase inspanningen om zijn grensverdediging te versterken over te brengen.

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