NEW DELHI: The deadlock between Indian and Chinese soldiers is continuing for weeks over border dispute and it’s now getting worse.
In a latest confrontation, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) crossed the border in Uttarakhand and entered Indian territory. Chinese soldiers crossed into Uttarakhand’s Barahoti in Chamoli district on July 25 at about 9 am and came upto 200 metres on the other side of the border, reported the Indian media.
The standoff started more than a month ago after Chinese troops started building a road on the remote plateau, which is disputed by China and Bhutan.
Indian Express cited its sources as saying that the Chinese soldiers came as usual and asked cattle owners to leave the area. However the soldiers left after a couple of hours. Last year also a similar incident was reported from the region.
It is reported that there were about 200-300 Chinese soldiers.
The ITBP team, patrolling the area, raised the issue and the Chinese soldiers went back after a meeting.
The area is a declared disputed area and a demilitarised zone. India also patrols this area but without uniform or weapons, says a report.
Every year both the Chinese and Indian sides go to this area, at least once a year, to stake claim over the territory. India sends a civilian group backed by ITBP in civilian clothes to measure the area.
India has conveyed to China that the construction of road in the disputed Doklam area near Sikkim would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for New Delhi.
Bhutan has said construction of the road is “a direct violation” of agreements with China. Bhutan and China do not have diplomatic relations.
India, which fought a war with China in 1962 over a separate part of the disputed Himalayan border, supports Bhutan’s claim.
“There is a written agreement signed in 2012 which states that the issue of trijunction (the border where the three countries meet) should be decided by India, China and … Bhutan,” India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj recently said.
“All this while China has been building roads… various activities have been going on. This time they brought bulldozers and excavators and their intention is to reach the trijunction.
“They want to end the status quo of this trijunction unilaterally,” she added.
China has said Indian troops should “unconditionally” withdraw to the Indian side before talks can start on the dispute.
Swaraj said China must also pull back its troops for any dialogue to happen.