India should be cautious in rebuilding special forces in border areas with China: expert
People’s Daily Online
By Sun Wenyu (People’s Daily Online) 14:04, December 21, 2016
In addition to the deployment of Mountain Strike Corps and BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missiles along the China-India border, India is planning to rebuild its Special Frontier Forces (SFF) to cope with China’s frequent actions, Indian media outlet Daily News and Analysis (DNA) reported on Dec. 19. But experts have since pointed out that India should approach this task with caution.
The SFF was established in 1963 after the border conflict with China in 1962. As the ears and eyes of India’s frontier forces, the troop has played a significant role in gathering intelligence from border areas and neighboring countries. According to DNA, the decision to rebuild the force was made by top Indian security leadership in an effort to cope with China’s actions in countries surrounding India and along international boundaries. The report noted that China has proposed building a new railway and trade route between itself and Nepal. China has also enhanced its presence in Bangladesh and Myanmar — two nations that show great interest in attracting Chinese capital and infrastructure.
Ye Hailin, chief of the South Asia Studies Center under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the decision to rebuild the SFF is India’s internal affairs, but the country should think carefully about whether this is a practical solution. China has no right to stop India’s efforts. Likewise, its cooperation and exchanges with Bangladesh and Nepal need no consent from India, Ye added.
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