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China's concerns over Auli joint exercises are disingenuous

The Yudh Abhyas exercise has been an annual affair since 2004

Chinas concerns over Auli joint exercises are disingenuous

The Chinese spokesperson invoking the 1993-1996 bilateral agreements for conveying concerns over India-US battalion level joint exercises at Auli in Uttarakhand, 100 km from LAC, is yet another example of Beijing changing goalposts to suit its strategic requirements.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, the joint exercise near the LAC violated the spirit of relevant agreements signed by China and India in 1993 and 1996.

The Chinese Defence Ministry spokesperson said the joint "Yudh Abhyas" exercise was an effort by a "third party" to meddle in India-China border affairs.

The Yudh Abhyas exercise has been an annual affair since 2004.

Both statements are quite instructive as the wolf warriors of the Middle Kingdom are often known to cherry-pick past statements and agreements to put the blame on India.

The 1993-1996 agreements invoked by the China were the same agreements that were torn to shreds by the PLA when it transgressed into Galwan (patrolling point 14) on May 5, 2020, and then in the areas of Kugrang Nala (patrolling point 15), Gogra (patrolling point 16-17) and north banks of Pangong Tso by occupying the heights above finger four of the salt-water lake.

Even today, PLA stands in violation of both the agreements as it has amassed forces near the LAC since May 2020 with no signs of de-escalation.

It has moved more forces close to the LAC across Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh since September 2022. Not only that, the PLA Air Force has violated air protocols since May 2020 under the 1993-1996 agreements that do not allow aircraft within 10 km of the LAC.

Even today, PLA is building a new highway (C-695) that cuts into the Indian claim line in East Ladakh near Khurnak Fort for faster inter-sector deployments on the north and south banks of Pangong Tso.

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