Sikkim Standoff: It has been over a month since Indian jawans have been locked in a stand off against the Chinese soldiers in the Dokalam area which is the southernmost part of Tibet in an area that is also claimed by New Delhi’s ally Bhutan. The whole issue between the two nations started when the Indians Army stopped the Chinese troops from building a road in the disputed area. While the Indian Army claims that the road is being built in the disputed area, China has claimed that it is constructing the road within its own territory – they have even demanded an immediate pull out by the jawans. India has given a number of stinging rejoinders, but insisted that after talks talk with China for peaceful resolution for the whole border issue is of top importance. The issue about the construction of road was reported by Bhutan who sought for help from New Delhi. China has even retaliaed by hindering Indian pilgrims travelling to Mount Kailash, a sacred Hindu and Buddhist site in Tibet.
Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj during the question hour of the Rajya Sabha while talking about the stand off between the two nations said, “China intends to unilaterally change the status of the tri-junction with Bhutan, posing a challenge to India’s security.” Adding facts about the Dokalam stand off, Minister Swaraj further referred to a written agreement between India, China and Bhutan, signed in 2012, which stated that the three nations will together decide on the boundaries at the tri-junction point, according to a PTI report.
Swaraj went on to speak about the construction of the road on the disputed area by China and said that they have been constructing roadsea erlier too, but this time they have brought in bulldozers and excavators. She said, “We are saying that the matter can be resolved through talks, but both sides have to first take back their armies.” When talking about China’s demand of withdrawing the Indian forces, MEA Sushma Swaraj said, “India has been saying that both countries would have to withdraw their armies before amicably resolving the dispute through talks….their (China’s) intention was to reach the tri-junction so that they can unilaterally end the status of the tri-junction. It was only then that India came into the picture.”
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She added, “India’s position is not wrong on the tri-junction and all nations are with it. The law is with our country and all are realising this.” Talking on he same issue, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said that India is in close contacts with the Bhutan government regarding the border or disbuted area issues. He said, “India’s approach is to have a peaceful resolution of issues on border with China.”