28 June 2017

News Report: India Stops China’s Road Construction, Braces for Lengthy Face-off

The month-long tussle at the India-China border is expected to continue until winter with India pulling the brakes on China’s road construction at the trijunction of Tibet, Bhutan and India. China planned a road from Tibet to Bhutan via territory claimed by both countries.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — Troops of both the countries have been engaged in a major stand-off for a month at Doka La as China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) brought in construction equipment and set up labor camps in the area for road construction. India sent reinforcements and deployed more troops in the region.

The Chinese Defense Ministry has accused Indian troops of crossing the Line of Actual Control "in an attempt to prevent a road construction by the Chinese side".

"Indian troops' provocation has violated the consensus and relevant agreements on border issues between the Chinese and Indian governments, seriously endangering the peace of the border areas," Ren Guoqiang, a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson, said on Monday. The road construction was carried out on China's territory and India had no right to interfere, Ren said.

The PLA destroyed two Indian bunkers in the Lalten area of Doka La sector. "They claim that our bunkers are on what they see as their side of the LAC. They smashed two makeshift bunkers and tried to advance further but our men resisted them and pushed them back," an Indian Army brigadier said.

"The China-Indian border in Sikkim has been delineated by historical treaties. After the independence of India, the Indian government has confirmed in writing several times, acknowledging that there is no objection to the border between the two sides," the PLA said in a statement.

​The stand-off at the border has impacted the annual pilgrimage of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. "In view of the above events (border scuffle), for security reasons, the Chinese side had to suspend the arrangement of the Indian official pilgrimage group through the Sino-Indian border at Nathu La Pass, Sikkim, into the pilgrimage, and through diplomatic channels informed the Indian side," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement early Tuesday.

Both the sides had made an effort to disperse the ongoing tension on June 20 when senior army officials of both sides met but troops refused to budge. Last week, Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat had met troops at Sikkim amid the stand-off to boost the morale of the troops last week, shows Indian intent.

This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.