The China link to insurgency in the Northeast: Here's what you need to know

The China link to insurgency in the Northeast: Here's what you need to know

China China

Tirap: After an ambush by insurgents which led to the death of an Assam Rifles jawan in Arunachal's Tirap, murmurs about China's alleged role in Northeast India's insurgency have flared up once again. Time and again, experts have claimed that China, with its massive wealth and resources, has a hand to play in the insurgency in the Northeast Indian region.

Tuesday’s attack, suspectedly carried out by the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), came a week after China’s propaganda arm warned the Narendra Modi government against signing a much-speculated trade pact with Taiwan. There had been threats that Beijing could retaliate by supporting North-East separatists and stop recognising Sikkim as a part of India.

Although Indian security forces have said that the timing of the ambush was merely a "coincidence", the focus has once again shifted to China's role helping Northeast Indian separatists and insurgents.

Naga and Manipur insurgents can be linked to elements in the Chinese establishment much before the 1971Indo-China war. The 1975 Shillong Accord between Government of India and Naga National Council was opposed by leaders such as SS Khaplang and Thuingaleng Muivah, who were then called the "China Return Gang."

Also Read: ‘Bodoland Territorial Council’ to be under Assam governor’s rule till election: Govt

Together, Khaplang and Muivah formed the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) in 1980. They parted ways eight years later in 1988 to set up their own outfits; Muivah formed the NSCN (I-M) faction along with Isak Chishi Swu while Khaplang called his faction NSCN (K).

Although the NSCN (I-M), which is currently in talks with the government for resolution of the Naga issue, maintains that it does not have any links to the Chinese government, this claim has been questioned vehemently.
Notably, NSCN (I-M) co-founder Isak Chishi Swu, who died in 2016, had last made a quiet trip to Beijing as late as 2009.

Nearly 15 years earlier, a top leader of insurgent group United Liberation Front of Asom Lohit Deuri had given security agencies graphic details of how unmarked Chinese weapons were transferred from Chinese ships to Bangladeshi dhow on the high seas and brought to India’s north-east.
Arrested ULFA leaders have also revealed that Chinese actors were behind the supply of 10 truck loads of arms to ULFA, All Tripura Tiger Force and the PLA in Manipur in 2004.

On 2 August 2010, Anthony Shimray, a senior NSCN (I-M) insurgent who oversaw supply of arms to the outfit, was picked up at Patna airport by Indian security officials. His interrogation led the Thai police to arrest arms dealer Willy Narue on 31 August. Interrogation of these two arms suppliers confirmed that two Chinese arms companies were to be paid $ 1 million for supply of weapons to north-east insurgents via ship from China’s port city of Dalian and then transported to India via land corridor in north Myanmar in October-November 2010.

Meanwhile, reports have emerged which suggest that ULFA leader Paresh Barua lives in Ruili in Yunnan Province across the Myanmar border with China. He isn’t the only one.

In January 2011, Indian agencies caught Chinese intelligence agent Qing Wang after she dodged local officials to enter Nagaland’s Dimapur without the mandatory restricted area permit and held an unauthorised meeting with NSCN (IM) supremo Thuingaleng Muivah. She was later deported for violating her visa conditions.

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Edited By: Admin
Published On: Oct 23, 2020