(TibetanReview.net, Aug05, 2017) – After boasting about having moved tens of thousands of tonnes of military vehicles and equipment into Tibet in late June since it became locked in a border dispute with India in the early part of the month, China now complains that New Delhi has been building up troops and repairing roads along its side of the border. Both the sides have demanded that the other side withdraw their troops from Doklam – which is claimed by Bhutan as well as China near their tri-junction with India’s Sikkim state – as a precondition for de-escalating the situation.
India sent its troops from across Sikkim on Jun 6 after Bhutan raised an alarm that China was building a road towards its Army camp in Zompelri area of Doklam. To India this was also a strategic security threat as China would then gain access to the so-called Chicken’s Neck, a thin strip of land connecting the country to its eight northeastern region states.
“It has already been more than a month since the incident, and India is still not only illegally remaining on Chinese territory, it is also repairing roads in the rear, stocking up supplies, massing a large number of armed personnel,” Reuters Aug 3 quoted China’s foreign ministry as saying in a statement.
Despite China’s numerous diplomatic representations, its foreign ministry statement was cited as saying, India has not only not withdrawn its troops but has also been making “unreasonable demands” and is not sincere about a resolution.
Also, China’s defense ministry has again called on India to immediately pull back the “trespassing troops” to the Indian side of the boundary. Ren Guoqiang, a spokesperson of the ministry, made the remarks in a statement released on the ministry’s website late Aug 3 night, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency.
Also, a Xinhua commentary Aug 4 by one You Dongxiao questioned the suggestion that India had been invited by Bhutan to protect its interests in Doklam. “So far, there is no evidence that any such invitation was ever made,” it contended.
Earlier, quoting PLA Daily, the official mouthpiece of China’s military, the scmp.com had reported Jul 18 that the Western Theatre Command of the PLA – which oversees the restive regions of Xinjiang and Tibet, and handles border issues with India – had transported the vast haul of military equipment and vehicles to a region south of the Kunlun Mountains in northern Tibet. And it was stated that these could be moved close to India’s Sikkim border in six hours.
The Reuters report cited Indian officials as having said that about 300 soldiers from either side were facing each other about 150 meters (yards) apart on the Doklam plateau.