wnol.info May 24 2018

China, India in dispute over Bhutan border road

May 24 2018, 01:43 | Irvin Gilbert

China, India in dispute over Bhutan border road

China, India in dispute over Bhutan border road

"He is right in saying that India in 2017 is different from 1962, just like China is also different", said a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang. "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.

China on Tuesday ruled out a compromise in the military standoff with India at Doka La in Sikkim and put the onus on New Delhi to resolve the "grave" situation.

"I would like the Indian side to respect the 1890 treaty immediately and pull back the border troops which have crossed into Chinese territory back to the Indian side of the boundary".

China has strong words for the Indian army.

"Some Indians dare to provoke China and even claim that it's not 1962 anymore probably because they don't think China has military advantages at the border sector where the event took place", he wrote.

Clearly, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley's warning to China not to underestimate India on the basis of the 1962 experience when this country had to eat the humble pie in war against the Chinese, was directed to reassure Bhutan and Sikkim, knowing full well that China can ill afford to rub India on the wrong side until the CPEC is fully operational.

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He said that this convention is effective and binding for both China and India.

According to a report in India Today, China has deployed an advanced Yuan class - conventional diesel electric - submarine in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The commentary in Xinhua, considered an official view, said "despite its strategic discomfort, it is important for India to get over its "China anxiety" and carefully assess the initiative, recognise its potential benefits and seize the opportunities". India also supports Bhutan militarily and diplomatically. Detailing the boundary demarcation, this legal document has been adhered to by both India and China up till now as a settlement of disputes along their 3,488-km boundary.

Calling India's actions at the Sikkim border a "betrayal", China on Monday reiterated that the boundary section between the two countries was well demarcated.

The standoff began mid-June when Indian troops halted the construction of a road in the strategic Doklam region, which China refers to as Donglang.

On the standoff, the ministry of external affairs had said India was "deeply concerned at the recent Chinese actions and has conveyed to the Chinese government that such construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India". It rapidly escalated after Delhi and Thimphu opposed road construction by Beijing along the border that belongs to Bhutan, but claimed by Beijing. The Vietnamese deputy prime minister's visit comes at a time when Sino-US tensions are rising in the South China Sea. "There is also a particular talk which is coming that China is interested in India joining the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)". The boundary between the two countries is yet to be defined but the two sides have a consensus on the alignment of the boundary. "The Chinese side firmly encourages the United States side to instantly stop such provocative operations that damage China's power and debilitate China's security", he included.

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