Refuting to China’s claims that India has reduced its troop from over 400 to around 40 at the stand-off region in Doklam, Indian government sources have stressed that there are around 350 soldiers around the border and there has been no change in the numbers. According to a report by Indian Express, Chinese embassy in Delhi has recently issued a 15-page long statement claiming that authorities in China had ‘notified’ their Indian counterparts about the construction of road at Doklam which triggered the stand-off. However, the statement is contrary to India’s claim that on June 16, a PLA construction party had entered the Doklam area without any information and started constructing a road.
The neighbouring country, in its statement, had also asked Indian authorities to withdraw its troops and demanded a probe into the alleged trespassing by Indian soldiers. Official government sources told Indian Express that that has been no change in the number of Indian soldiers deployed in Doklam area from the very beginning. Currently around 350 Indian soldiers are present at a distance from around 300 Chinese soldiers near Doka La, sources said.
Highlighting the number of troop, the 15 page Chinese statement in the second paragraph read: “On 16 June 2017, the Chinese side was building a road in the Dong Lang area. On 18 June, over 270 Indian border troops, carrying weapons and driving two bulldozers, crossed the boundary in the Sikkim Sector at the Duo Ka La (Doka La) pass and advanced more than 100 metres into the Chinese territory to obstruct the road building of the Chinese side, causing tension in the area.”
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“In addition to the two bulldozers, the trespassing Indian border troops, reaching as many as over 400 people at one point, have put up three tents and advanced over 180 metres into the Chinese territory. As of the end of July, there were still over 40 Indian border troops and one bulldozer illegally staying in the Chinese territory,” it added.
Later, Ministry of External Affairs replied to Chinese statement and said, “India’s position on this issue and related facts have been articulated in our press statement of June 30. India considers that peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas is an important prerequisite for smooth development of our bilateral relations with China.”