ITBP jawans learn Chinese to avoid confusion with PLA

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Nov 1, 2014.



    Sep 22, 2012
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    Detroit MI
    NEW DELHI: Increasing incidence of face-offs with the Chinese army on the border has prompted the government to push its forces to learn Chinese. The idea is to have more and more personnel speak good Chinese so that they can communicate well during confrontations and escalation of tension is avoided due to any misunderstanding.

    As many as 12 officers from ITBP, which guards the over 3,400km long Sino-Indian border have been enrolled for a two-year course in JNU's school of foreign languages. More are to follow, sources said.

    ITBP DG Dubhash Goswami said, "We are increasingly stressing on learning the Chinese language. Our officers and jawans are enrolled in long duration courses. There is a perceptional difference between us and Chinese forces as far as border is concerned. Communication is important to maintain peace at the border."

    Although this is not the first time that ITBP personnel are learning Chinese, such stress on learning the language well has not been there, said sources. "Earlier personnel would get to do short term capsule courses to enable them just to have a workable communication skill in Chinese limited to exchanging greetings or explaining positions. Till the 90s, in fact, force personnel were forbidden to attempt any communication with PLA as our skills were so poor that we used to only use sign language and that would lead to miscommunication," said an officer.

    However, a lot has changed since then, he adds. "Earlier there would just be banner drills and patrolling confrontation where both parties would assert their claim to territory and then return to bases. There was no need for detailed communication. For the past couple of years though, there are more face-offs where confrontation continues for over a fortnight. Communication now cannot be avoided and sign language will not suffice. As forces are getting aggressive on both sides, miscommunication can lead to escalation of tension."

    ITBP jawans learn Chinese to avoid confusion with PLA - The Times of India

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