(TibetanReview.net, Jul25, 2017) – In its most direct threat yet against India over its ongoing standoff since Jun 6 near the tri-junction with Bhutan, China’s defence ministry has said Jul 24 that its military had taken emergency measures in the region and would continue to increase focused deployments and drills. “India should not leave things to luck and not harbour any unrealistic illusions,” Reuters Jul 24 quoted defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian as telling a briefing.
“Shaking a mountain is easy but shaking the People’s Liberation Army is hard,” Wu was quoted as saying, adding that its ability to defend China’s territory and sovereignty had “constantly strengthened”.
China claims that Indian border guards crossed into China’s Donglang region and obstructed its work of building a road there. India, on the other hand, contends that the region belongs to its close ally Bhutan, which calls it Doklam, and the Chinese project is also a serious threat to its territorial integrity. That is because Dolkam gives China access to what is called Chicken’s Neck, a thin strip of land connecting India and its eight northeastern states. That is why the two sides’ troops have been in a standoff at the place ever since.
Wu has said the withdrawal of Indian border guards was a precondition for resolving the situation. “We strongly urge India to take solid measures to correct its mistakes and desist from provocation,” China’s official Xinhua news agency Jul 24 quoted Wu as saying.
India, on the other hand, insists that troops from both the sides should withdraw.
Reuters cited Indian officials as saying about 300 soldiers from either side were facing each other about 150 meters (yards) apart on the plateau.
It also cited them as saying both sides’ diplomats had quietly engaged to try to ensure the stand-off does not escalate, and that India’s ambassador to Beijing was leading the effort to find a way for both sides to back down from confrontation without losing face.