Doklam standoff: It has been five weeks since India and China stepped back from a standoff at Doklam on the Sikkim border. But about 1,000 Chinese troops are still present near the faceoff site.
Doklam standoff: It has been five weeks since India and China had stepped back from a standoff at Doklam on the Sikkim border. But about 1,000 Chinese troops are still present near the faceoff site, according to Indian Express report. This has kept Indian soldiers on their toes. New Delhi, however, does not think there will be another ‘flashpoint’ between two neighbours this time, the report says. Following the process of ‘disengagement’ began on August 28, the presence of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) started decreasing, IE reported. But one PLA battalion remains on the plateau approximately 800m from the faceoff site, IE reported. Even Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa during his annual press conference on Thursday had acknowledged about the presence of Chinese soldiers in Chumbi Valley.
After the BRICS conference in China concluded on September 5, sources said, all the Indian soldiers returned to their posts at Doka La but their numbers have since been strengthened. Reports said that thrice the number of troops have been acclimatised for that altitude and placed closer to the area. Although India doesn’t expect another “flashpoint” in the area, the assessment is that China could attempt a stronger intrusion at another location on the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) — possibly at Barahoti in Uttaranchal, in the central sector. Adequate measures have already been taken in that area by Indian forces, IE reported.
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Top experts in the US have welcomed the disengagement of troops by both India and China at Doklam, but warned that the problem is not out of the woods yet as the status quo of the last three decades has been “disturbed irrevocably”. India and China had in last month agreed to “expeditious disengagement” of border personnel at the face-off site in Doklam following diplomatic communications.