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Monday, April 16, 2012
By : Defence News Admin

Hours after reports claimed that China is attempting to establish an astronomical observatory in Aksai Chin, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) downplayed any threat emanating from the move to India's security.
  • Hours after reports claimed that China is attempting to establish an astronomical observatory in Aksai Chin, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) downplayed any threat emanating from the move to India's security.

    “We are aware of China’s defence spending and modernisation plan and its latest move in the Aksai Chin region. It poses no significant threat to the country,” a statement released by the MoD said.

    Meanwhile, Army Chief Gen VK Singh also sought to play down reports that Beijing has dared India again by trying to legitimise its control over Aksai Chin in Ladakh.

    Speaking to reporters, Gen Singh said, “Aksai Chin is at a considerable distance from the Siachin Glacier region so there is absolutely no threat to the country's borders.”

    The reaction from the MoD and the Army Chief came in the wake of reports that China is pushing Japan and South Korea to establish an astronomical observatory in Aksai Chin.

    Defence analysts see the Chinese proposal for the observatory as an attempt to complicate the Aksai Chin dispute by drawing in Japan and South Korea.

    Aksai Chin is a remote part of Jammu & Kashmir that Beijing occupied after the 1962 war. Pakistan ceded parts of the region to China a year later.

    A remote area in Tibet can also be chosen as the location for the new international astronomical observatory, because of "limited clouds and vapour" but "high transparency" ideal for observation activities.

    The planned observatory will enable scientists from China, Japan and South Korea to build large-scale telescopes and carry out joint research programmes.


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