Chinese meddling is suspected in the recent deaths of 18 Indian military personnel. India’s counterterrorism group, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), have also discovered more evidence linking China’s involvement with north-east rebels in the Chandel district of Manipur. Such Chinese support of anti-Indian terror is not unusual. On June 25, 2015 China blocked a movement by India in the UN sanctions committee over the release of terror group leader Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. Lakhvi’s group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, was responsible for the 2008 Mumbai hotel attack which claimed 160 lives.
The recent attack was carried out by the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang or NSCN(K) along with help from the United Liberation Front (UNLF). These are part of an umbrella group known as the United Liberation Front of Western South Asia, which India suspects is supported by China. The attack took place on June 4 following NSCN(K)’s breaking of a decade long cease fire with New Delhi. The NIA has been informed that the chief of the UNLF’s Manipur group has been in contact with China as of 2008.
NIA sources have also reported that in 2009, the UNLF leader had been involved in arms dealing along the Chinese-Myanmar border. China will sometimes use front companies as a cover for their intelligence operations, one example being Aye Kyi Kaung Co Ltd. This company was used in a meeting with the UNLF in order to discuss Indian troop and missile deployment in the northeast.
According to former member of NSCN(K), N Kitovi Zhimomi, these reports of Chinese involvement are accurate. Kitovi left the group after suspecting Chinese support was for purely selfish reasons, and not in pursuit of his group’s cause.
China’s ambassador to India in 2014 stated that, “China, India, and Pakistan ought to work together to deal with the problem of terrorism and root out the cause of terrorism.” The recent release of Lakhvi along with last month’s attack in north-east India show how empty these statements are.