Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Where is the India-China standoff heading?

India and China are at the brink of war Afghanistan needs a wise decision Where is the India-China standoff heading?
Lance Thomas | 05 July, 2017, 00:12

"The Bhutan side does not know previously that Indian troops entered Doklam which is not in line with what India claims", Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, said on Monday. "In 1962, China fought a war with India after the latter encroached on Chinese territory, resulting in the deaths of 722 Chinese troops and 4,383 Indian soldiers", the daily said.

"Indian troops crossed the undisputed Sikkim section of the China-India border and impeded Chinese workers from building roads a few days before Modi's visit to the US... aimed to demonstrate to the US India's firm determination to constrain China's rise".

The commentary said "while the Indian decision to boycott the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative may be understandable, "staying away is not the best choice New Delhi could have made".

Urging India to respect boundary treaties and China's territorial sovereignty to maintain peace and stability, the foreign ministry also informed India through diplomatic channels that the entry of official Indian pilgrims at the Nathu La Pass, linking Sikkim and Tibet, had to be postponed for safety reasons.

"And even at the expense of the Bhutan's independence and sovereignty, they try to confuse right with wrong, which is futile". The corridor, sometime referred to as the "Chicken's Neck", is a narrow slice of Indian territory squeezed between Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and China.

With China expanding its presence in the Indian Ocean region, the navies of India, the U.S. and Japan are all set to undertake war games in the Bay of Bengal next week involving nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers.

Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley hit back at China saying Delhi in 2017 is not what it was in 1962. China has been organising annual trips for journalists from Nepal and India for quite some time.

"...if India was to abdicate its responsibilities towards Bhutan, India's other neighbors will, in effect, be told that India's bark is far worse than India's bite - and that relying on India as a countervailing force to the Chinese juggernaut is foolish".

"The India-China boundary in Sikkim is well demarcated".

The current dispute focuses on the Doklam or Donglang Plateau, a ridge in the Himalayan hills where the borders of India, China, and Bhutan, a tiny kingdom long under New Delhi's thumb, meet.

India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, who is the Special Representative for the India-China border talks, is to visit Beijing on 26 July to attend the meeting of the NSAs from BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Bhutan has also lodged protests over the construction.

"The Belt and Road provides a monumental opportunity for the win-win cooperation between India and China, which are quite complementary economically", it said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are attending a summit of the G20 group of nations in the German city of Hamburg later this week.

According to India, while the status of Sikkim is recognized as being part of India, the boundary is not resolved between India and China. "The water-parting formed by the crest of the Himalayas is the natural frontier which was accepted for centuries as the boundary by the peoples on both sides".

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