New Delhi, July 26: While China has been demanding India to withdraw its troops from Doklam border area, New Delhi has made it clear that it won’t buckle under pressure. Though India will continue to take efforts on diplomatic level to solve Doklam standoff, it won’t withdraw troops from the Sikkim section. India will remain “firm and resolute” at the military level to counter any attempt by China to “bully” Bhutan, reported Times of India, quoting sources.
An “enhanced border management posture” has been established by India near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction. India is also planning to deploy additional forces in Doklam border area. Despite the almost daily dose of belligerent rhetoric from China and its state-controlled media, New Delhi has kept diplomatic channels open for talks on Doklam standoff. India calls Doklam Bhutanese and wants China to adhere to the 2012 agreement between their two special representatives that the tri-junction boundary points will be finalised in consultation with Bhutan.
“Beijing should restore the status quo, which it unilaterally broke by trying to construct the motorable road in the Doklam area (physically blocked by Indian troops in mid-June),” a source was quoted as saying. Earlier External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said China was aiming to unilaterally change the status of the tri-junction with Bhutan, which poses a challenge to India’s security.
On Tuesday, Indian Army’s Vice Chief Sarath Chand said China is bound to be a threat to India in the years to come. “On the North, we have China which has a large landmass, huge resources and a large standing army…. Despite having the Himalayas between us, China is bound to be a threat for us in the years ahead,” Lt Gen Chand said while addressing a joint seminar of the Army’s Master General Ordnance and Confederation of Indian Industry.
China Asks India to Withdraw Troops
China on Tuesday renewed a call for India to pull back from Doklam, with its Foreign Minister Wang Yi reacting for the first time on the raging crisis. Chinese Foreign Minister said the “solution” to the crisis was “simple” – that India withdraw its troops from Doklam, which Beijing calls Chinese territory. Wang said India’s stand on the dispute was untenable as it already “admitted” that its troops entered Chinese territory and a pullback by New Delhi was the “simple solution” to the border row.
A stand-off is continuing between Indian and Chinese troops along the border in the Sikkim sector, after China attempted road construction in Bhutan’s territory around mid-June. At the tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China, Doklam is of high strategic importance to all three. It is disputed between Bhutan and China. India calls Doklam Bhutanese and perceives any Chinese presence in the area as a threat to its security. The genesis of the dispute lies in a road being built by the Chinese Army in Doklam. Indian troops halted the work, leading to the crisis.