Ever since he came to power, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been making changes to some of the most important posts in the country. Accordingly, he recently appointed former intelligence Chief Ajit Doval as the new national security advisor, and appointed Army Chief Kumar Singh as the new minister of the state. According to Chinese news outlet Duowei News, these appointments could have major implications for existing Sino-Indian ties.
On May 30, Modi appointed 63-year-old general Kumar Singh as the new minister of the state for development of the country’s northeastern regions as well as external affairs and Indian affairs on foreign soil. The Chinese news outlet claimed that this appointment could lead to New Delhi speeding up its plans to station more than 80000 soldiers near India’s Line of Actual Control with China.
The former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh officially passed the plan, intended to create India’s fourth strike corps at a budget of $10.8 billion (640 billion rupees) over a seven-year period, in 2013. The new mountain corps would have their headquarters in West Bengal and would give India the ability to launch a counter offensive or fully fledged attack into China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.
It is to be noted that Vijay Kumar Singh had previously checked on the military deployments near the Chinese border in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. He had also previously accused the Manmohan government of weakening the army over the past few years.
According to Indian analysts, China has repeatedly denied the existence of Arunachal Pradesh as an official Indian state, claiming it to be South Tibet. The nation has also built freeways in the area to allow its tanks and heavy artillery vehicles to reach the border quickly.
In light of progress being made on the border disputes between both countries, Modi has decided to take the relationship to the next level. On May 29, he had a phone conversation with Chinese premier Li Keqiang, inviting the Chinese President Xi Jinping for a visit to India this year.
Modi’s other appointment; 69 year old Doval is highly regarded for his counter terrorism approaches. Though his plans and priorities have not been revealed yet, his previous statements indicate at the possibility of the development of a zero tolerance policy towards violence and against Pakistani militants.