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China warns India about 1962 Military Defeat, asks to Withdraw troops from “Chinese territory”

Tensions have risen between the two neighbors over the latest stand-off in India's Sikkim sector which has a little over 200 km of border with Tibet in China

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Indian Army. Wikimedia
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  • This is the only part of over 4,000-km India-China border which is largely settled. The two fought a war in 1962
  • The latest stand-off occurred in Donglong or Doklam, a disputed territory between Bhutan and China
  • New Delhi has so far not responded to the charges of Beijing, which on Thursday released two photos of Indian troops “trespassing Chinese boundary”

Beijing, June 29, 2017: In a sharp escalation of rhetoric, China on Thursday reminded India about its military defeat in 1962 and asked it to withdraw troops from “Chinese territory,” a precondition Beijing has set for resolving the latest border row in the Sikkim region.

Beijing also asked New Delhi not to “clamour for war”.

“We hope the particular person in the Indian Army could learn from historical lessons and stop such clamouring for war,” People’s Liberation Army spokesperson Wu Qian said, referring to Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat’s remarks that India was ready for a war with both China and Pakistan.

ALSO READ: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

“Such rhetoric is extremely irresponsible,” Wu said about remarks attributed to Gen Rawat, who on Thursday visited Sikkim where Indian and Chinese troops scuffled.

Tensions have risen between the two neighbors over the latest stand-off in India’s Sikkim sector which has a little over 200 km of border with Tibet in China.

This is the only part of over 4,000-km India-China border which is largely settled. The two fought a war in 1962.

The latest stand-off occurred in Donglong or Doklam, a disputed territory between Bhutan and China.

Beijing has accused India of obstructing road building in the area, which it claims as its own. It has also charged India with acting at the behest of Bhutan, which also lays claim to Donglong.

New Delhi has so far not responded to the charges of Beijing, which on Thursday released two photos of Indian troops “trespassing Chinese boundary”.

“We again urge the Indian side to abide by historical boundary convention, respect Chinese territorial sovereignty and withdraw the troops to the Indian side of the boundary to avoid further escalation,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.

“This is the precondition for the settlement of the incident and also the basis for us to conduct a meaningful dialogue,” he said.

Following the face-off, China has suspended the pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet where Indians travel via Nathu La Pass, which is shut now.

Lu said the fact of Indian troops crossing into Chinese territory was “undeniable”. “It is violating our historical boundary conventions as well as promises by the Indian government.

“I can show you the pictures and photos concerning borders trespassed by Indian troops.” Lu said displaying the pictures to the media from the lectern.

China also brushed aside Bhutan’s protest against Beijing building a road towards a Bhutanese Army camp in Zomplri area of Doklam or Donglong, calling the construction “just and lawful” and in Chinese territory.

Bhutan has issued a demarche to the Chinese Embassy over the incident in New Delhi since both countries have no diplomatic ties.

“Donglong has been Chinese territory since ancient time. This is an indisputable territory and we have adequate legal basis concerning this,” Lu said.

“And this is just a sovereign action by China to conduct the road construction in its territory. This is totally justifiable and lawful.”

Barring India and Bhutan, China has settled its land border dispute with its other 12 neighbours. (IANS)

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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.