New Delhi, Mar 24: Indian envoy Gautam Bambawale warned that any attempt by China to change the status quo along the Indian border may lead to another Doklam-like stand-off. The Indian envoy was speaking in an interview to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post. He said that the serious problem between India and China is the un-demarcated border. New Delhi will oppose the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor but won’t let the difference over Belt and Road become a dispute with Beijing, Bambawale added.
The Indian envoy further said that Chinese military changed the status quo in Doklam area last year which prompted India to react leading to the 73-day long Doklam standoff. “…to maintain the peace and tranquillity at the border, there are certain areas, certain sectors which are very sensitive, where we must not change the status quo,” he warned.
Earlier, speaking at the end of a parliamentary session, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China is ready to fight “bloody battles” against its enemies. He added that China would not give up a single inch of its territory. “The Chinese people have been indomitable and persistent. We are resolved to fight the bloody battle against our enemies,” he said.
Without naming any country, the Chinese President said, “The Chinese people and the Chinese nation have a shared conviction which is not a single inch of our land will be and can be ceded from China.”
Recently, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned that India has established a process of engagements with China at various levels. And I don’t think that Doklam will be repeated. We need to be alert and conscious at the border every minute. Anytime anything can happen at the border.
Last year, troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day-long standoff in Doklam since June 16 after the Indian side stopped construction of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. Bhutan and China have a dispute over Doklam. The face-off had ended on August 28.
The trouble started when India sent troops to stop China building a road in the Doklam area, which is remote, uninhabited territory claimed by both China and Bhutan. India said it sent its troops because Chinese military activity was posing a threat to the security of its own northeast region.