A potential Doklam-like face-off was averted after Chinese troops agreed not to continue road construction activities in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tuting area. The development came after Indian troops from Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police caught a Chinese company constructing roads in the Indian territory. The Indian Army had seized the equipment being used by the Chinese workers. Speaking about the issue, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said Indian and Chinese troops have resolved the issue. Speaking to Press Trust of India, some government sources said that two excavators, brought in for road building activities by the Chinese teams were returned on Saturday. The sources further revealed that the Indian side had conveyed its concerns over the incident to China, which said the teams had crossed into India by mistake and would no longer engage in such activities. “The Tuting incident has been resolved,” Gen. Rawat told reporters on the sidelines of an event, adding that a meeting of border personnel was held two days ago.
Not only this, there was a major reduction of Chinese troops in Doklam area. Troops from two countries were engaged in a 73-day long standoff in Doklam in the Sikkim sector last year. Indian troops had foiled attempts by Chinese road-building teams to build a track around 1km inside Indian territory in Tuting on December 28. The civilian teams went back when confronted by Indian troops, but left behind two excavators and some other equipment.
“The two excavators were returned to the Chinese side following the BPM on January 6,” sources said, adding, India’s objection to the incident was conveyed to China. The big revelation was made by Army chief after an event on modernisation of the armed forces. Rawat said future wars would be fought on difficult terrains and circumstances and the forces would have to be prepared for them. Rawat’s comments were seen in an apparent reference to China. Days after the end of the Doklam standoff, the Army chief had asserted that India should be prepared for a two-front war, noting that China had started “flexing its muscles”.
Rawat had said that China was trying to take over Indian territory in a gradual manner, and cautioned the forces to guard against such attempts. “Future wars will be fought in difficult terrains and circumstances. We have to be prepared for them,” Rawat told the gathering. He further cited the need to modernise the Army and said that the country must fight the next war with indigenous solutions. The Army chief also said that the Army was ready to induct equipment and platforms made by domestic defence firms.