Any claim that Chinese military officers may be in touch with the leaders of an insurgent group - the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) - apparently behind a recent attack on Indian troops is "absurd," experts said Tuesday.
The comment came after the Times of India quoted an unnamed government official as saying that the NSCN-K, who claimed responsibility for Thursday's ambush in the northeastern state of Manipur, "may have unilaterally ended its cease-fire … at the behest of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA)."
Experts believe that the existence of ties between the PLA and Indian rebels is impossible.
"The Indian media has long been a rumormonger when it comes to China's support for the insurgent groups in northeastern India," argued Zhao Gancheng, director of the Center for Asian-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies. "A connection between China and the Indian rebels is impossible, especially after India and China resumed diplomatic relationships in 1988."
An Indian official claimed that his government had acquired recordings of a phone call in which a PLA official asks the NSCN-K leader about his health and tells him to learn the Chinese language, the Indian Express reported.
"The phone-intercepts can prove nothing … It is hard to determine the identity of Chinese [officials] just by a phone conversation. It can be easily forged," said Wang Dehua, director of the Center for South Asian Studies at Tongji University.
The Times report is "absurd," according to Li Li, deputy director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceania Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
"It is impossible for China to intervene in the domestic affairs of India, especially when the two countries' relationship is developing very well after [Indian Prime Minister Narendra] Modi's visit," Li added.
China's foreign ministry made no immediate comment as of press time when reached by the Global Times.