A tense environment is reeling round the Sikkim border where Indian and Chinese troops are locked in a standoff. While Beijing jumped into the matter and demanded the withdrawal of Indian troops from the Sikkim sector as a precondition for “meaningful dialogue” to resolve the situation, India expressed its deep concern over China constructing a road in the disputed Doklam area near Sikkim. In a message to Beijing, the Government said that any such would represent a significant change of status quo with “serious” security implications for India. Meanwhile, Sikkim government has prepared and sent a report to the central government giving details of the situation along the border following the standoff, say PTI reports. Here are the ten latest developments in the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the area:
– China has removed an old bunker of the Indian Army located at the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan in Sikkim by using a bulldozer after the Indian side refused to accede to its request, reported PTI quoting its officials.
– India on Friday hit back at China for making veiled threats with Defence Minister Arun Jaitley asserting that India of 2017 is different from what it was in 1962, even as New Delhi told Beijing its actions near Sikkim have “serious” security implications for this country.
– India also treats the June 26 statement by the Chinese foreign ministry that Indian border troops crossed the boundary line in the Sikkim sector of the China-India boundary and entered Chinese territory as factually incorrect. India has always maintained that there is no China between the Sikkim and Bhutan border.
– A high-level meeting on Friday reviewed the situation in the Sikkim sector where tensions have flared up between Indian troops and Chinese military over the construction of a road by China in a strategically key area near the Sino-India border, as per PTI report.
– The first batch of Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims, a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, comprising about 50 people returned from the Nathu La border post as a result of the standoff between India and China. The second batch of pilgrims did not move from Gangtok and pilgrims were told to go home as the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage is unlikely to continue this year via Nathu La.
– Amid the ongoing tension between the troops of the neighboring country, Bhutan had earlier accused China of directly violating the agreement between them by constructing a road inside its territory. It asked China to stop constructing the motorable road from Dokola in the Doklam area towards the Bhutan Army camp at Zompelri as it will affect the process of demarcating the boundary between the two countries.
– China took no time to reject the claim of Bhutan on the issue of road construction arguing that the Doklam area in the Sikkim sector has been a traditional pasture for Chinese cattle grazers over which it has historically exercised “complete and comprehensive” control.
– In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang indicated that the point of friction was in the Donglong (Doklam) region, which he stressed belonged to China indisputably.
– India’s army chief Bipin Rawat had on Thursday visited the mountainous state of Sikkim bordering China, where tensions have flared after Beijing accused New Delhi of sending troops into its territory and obstructing the construction of a road. Small incursions and troop stand-offs are common along with other parts of China and India’s contested 3,500 km (2175 miles) frontier, but a flare-up near strategically positioned Sikkim is rare.
– China seemed unhappy with Indian Army Chief as it warned General Bipin Rawat to “stop clamouring for war”, calling it as “extremely irresponsible” of his recent statement saying India was ready for a “two-and-a-half front war”, said The Indian Express report. Speaking to reporters, Chinese People’s Liberation Army spokesperson Col Wu Qian, said China hoped “particular person in the Indian Army could learn from historical lessons and stop such clamouring for war.”