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Thread: Border face-off: China and India each deploy 3,000 troops

  1. #1
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    Border face-off: China and India each deploy 3,000 troops

    NEW DELHI: The ongoing troop face-off between India and China on the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction has emerged as the biggest such confrontation in the region in decades, with both sides continuing to pump in reinforcements to the remote border region.

    Even as Army chief General Bipin Rawat reviewed the ground situation by visiting the headquarters of the 17 Mountain Division in Gangtok and 27 Mountain Division in Kalimpong on Thursday, sources said the two rival armies had strengthened their positions at the tri-junction by deploying around 3,000 troops each in a virtually eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation.

    The Indian Army, on its part, refused to say anything. But sources said though there had been other troop standoffs at the tri-junction over the years, the latest one at the Doka La general area was clearly the most serious.

    "Both sides are as yet not willing to budge from their positions. Flag meetings and other talks between the rival commanders have not worked till now," a source said.

    During his visit, General Rawat especially concentrated on the deployments of the 17 Division, which is responsible for the defence of eastern Sikkim with four brigades (each with over 3,000 soldiers) under its command.

    "All top officers, including the 33 Corps and 17 Division commanders, were present during the extensive discussions. The chief will return to New Delhi on Friday morning," the source said.

    Undeterred by Beijing's aggressive posturing, India has made it clear that it will not allow China to construct a motorable road till the tri-junction through the Bhutanese territory of Doklam plateau, as earlier reported by TOI.

    Bhutan, too, has issued a demarche to China over the construction of the road towards its army camp at Zomplri in the Doklam plateau, asking Beijing to restore status quo by stopping work immediately.

    "China is trying to build a 'Class-40 road' in the Doklam plateau that can take the weight of military vehicles weighing up to 40 tonnes, which include light battle tanks, artillery guns and the like," the source said.

    Interestingly, the People's Liberation Army declared in Beijing on Thursday that it had conducted trials of a new 35-tonne tank in the plains of Tibet, though it added that "it was not targeted against any country". The Indian defence establishment is concerned at the "creeping territorial aggression" by China, which aims to progressively swallow the 269 sq km Doklam plateau to add "strategic width" to its adjoining but narrow Chumbi Valley, which juts in between Sikkim and Bhutan.

    China has also been pushing Bhutan hard for the last two decades to go in for a "package deal".

    Under it, Beijing wants Thimphu to cede control over Doklam plateau, while it surrenders claims to the 495 sq km of territory in Jakurlung and Pasamlung valleys in northern Bhutan.

    But India is militarily "very sensitive" about the Doklam plateau, especially the Zomplri Ridge area because it overlooks the strategically-vulnerable Siliguri corridor or the 'Chicken's Neck' area.

    India has progressively strengthened its defences in the Siliguri corridor, the narrow strip of land that connects the rest of India with its north-eastern states, to stem any Chinese ingress. "But it remains a geographical vulnerability. China has constructed several feeder roads from Tibet to the border with Bhutan, and is also trying to extend its railway line in the region," the source said.
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    Indo-China border in Sikkim is settled. This is happening in the Chumbi valley, where India-Bhutan-Chinese borders meet. For years China has been occupying this valley metres by metres violating Bhutan's sovereignty.

    Road building a direct violation of pacts: Bhutan

    This valley is strategically very important for India as PLA troops can cut off North-East India from mainland India by dominating Siliguri Corridor also known as Chicken's Neck, if they control it. And the best way to lay claim and control the area is to build a road(infrastructure), place artillery and SAM batteries, just what the Chinese did in SCS. The British occupied this territory alongwith Tibet in 1904 till 1908. And so, China is now also laying historical claims to this area. Didn't Japan control a part of China sometime before WWII?

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    We're pushing back for a change.

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    Has China miscalculated on the border? Or, is this a deliberate provocation?

    I don't understand if the author is deliberately trolling. The Chinese know Bhutan's security is tied to India, and that India will come to their aid in Siliguri Corridor at the very least. This is a must. Indira should have asked for some land from Bangladesh during the 1971 war. That parcel of land should have been a pre-condition for the liberation war support. It seems, none of the Congress leaders had anything called 'strategic thinking' in their head. The good thing that has come out of this incident is that though the area has significant IA deployed, it would now be fortified by tanks, artillery and missile regiments etc. And I hope the learning is clear, that the Chinese can never be trusted. If the PLA wants to get the same thrashing as in 1967, they are more than welcome to fire first.

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    India should shed 'strategic anxiety', join Belt and Road Initiative: Chinese media

    The Chinese are stressing on it again and again, even amidst the border stand off.

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    India should shed 'strategic anxiety', join Belt and Road Initiative: Chinese media

    The Chinese are stressing on it again and again, even amidst the border stand off.
    Am starting to wonder if the Chinese ever wanted India to join the BRI. Their actions prior to the meet did not suggest that. There was just this invitation and nothing more. Getting India on board would certainly be good for the BRI but not unless they address our concerns. Until that happens we provide an alternative in concert with the Russians and Japanese and interested others, a competing plan that promises to be consensual, transparent and rule of law abiding.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 02 Jul 17, at 21:27.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Am starting to wonder if the Chinese ever wanted India to join the BRI. Their actions prior to the meet did not suggest that. There was just this invitation and nothing more. Getting India on board would certainly be good for the BRI but not unless they address our concerns. Until that happens we provide an alternative in concert with the Russians and Japanese and interested others, a competing plan that promises to be consensual, transparent and rule of law abiding.
    Exactly. Getting India into BRI is not in Chinese interests as they have to address India's concerns, a rival.

    But this article suggests otherwise, Beijing using Doklam to arm-twist Delhi on OBOR?

    Is it fair to assume that Chinese commentators lie through their teeth to test Indian response?
    Last edited by Oracle; 03 Jul 17, at 04:44.

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    China’s maximalist position aimed at cramping India’s strategic space

    NEW DELHI: China's attempts to lay claim over areas south of the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction, as made obvious through a map released by Beijing a few days ago, could worsen the ongoing stand-off in the Doklam area. Indian authorities see this as not just intended to take a maximalist position in the dispute, but also to obfuscate the main issue of PLA's violation of the status quo in the region.

    This fits in nicely with China's almost habitual strategy to create a smokescreen of victimhood, even as it itself encroaches upon disputed territory. The stand-off in the Doklam area continues with Indian forces blocking the road construction by the Chinese towards where Beijing believes the tri-junction (the place where borders of the 3 countries meet meet) is located.

    According to reports from Beijing, the map released by China on Friday night to highlight `trespassing' by Indian forces shows disputed Doklam, not far from the tri-junction, as belonging to China.

    According to strategic affairs expert Brahma Chellaney, China is deliberately conflating 2 separate issues - the delineation of the tri-junction points and PLA's forcible attempt to change the status quo by building a strategic highway through the Doklam plateau.

    "The PLA's violation of the Doklam status quo is the central issue that has triggered the current troop standoff but Beijing is seeking to mask this by spotlighting the issue relating to the tri-junction points,'' said Chellaney.

    All three countries have a different take on where exactly the tri-junction is located and the dispute awaits a negotiated settlement among the 3 parties. Beijing believes it is located 20 km south of Doka La, the place Bhutan believes to be the tri-junction.

    However, to mount pressure on India and stake a maximalist position, Beijing has released, as Chellaney said, dubious maps laying claim to areas that are south of the tri-junction points as determined and perceived by India. It is through such a maximalist position that Beijing is alleging that Indian troops crossed over to the Chinese side.

    There's also a third issue - that of the Sikkim-Tibet boundary - which Beijing has raised to deflect attention from its attempt to build a road through Doklam for military purposes.On the Sikkim sector, as New Delhi pointed out last week, India and China reached an understanding in 2012 to discuss and finalize that boundary's demarcation under the Special Representatives framework.

    "In this context, for Beijing to cite an 1890 colonial-era agreement on Sikkim makes little sense other than to confound the real issue at stake. That colonial-era accord is of no direct relevance to China's road building through Doklam,'' said Chellaney.

    The citing of the 1890 Sikkim-Tibet agreement is interesting as it coincides with the disdain expressed by Beijing for the 1984 Sino-British accord, which paved the way for Hong Kong's handover in 1997, saying that it no longer had binding power. In the case of South China Sea too, where again Beijing took a maximalist position by claiming close to 85 per cent of its waters, Beijing cited "historical rights'' for political purposes.
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  10. #10
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Is it fair to assume that Chinese commentators lie through their teeth to test Indian response?
    They are testing our border at different points to see what happens. Testing the India Bhutan connection. Re-opening previous agreements to gain leverage. So trumpian

    https://scroll.in/article/842246/exp...-to-do-with-it

    Mea statement, Jun 30
    http://www.mea.gov.in/press-releases...in+Doklam+Area

    Unless I see something more concrete this has nothing to do with OBOR.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 03 Jul 17, at 05:12.

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    China's ministry of warning says, China will resolutely safeguard its sovereignty: Chinese experts, i.e. they are prepared for a war.

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    Contributor anil's Avatar
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    The chinese are clueless about indias casus belli. While they still don't understand how India will respond, they have been able to spot lies.

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    China's ministry of warning says, China will resolutely safeguard its sovereignty: Chinese experts, i.e. they are prepared for a war.
    War? really ? I've seen more dangerous drunken brawls than this.



    Can't tell anything about the authencity of this video and when it was taken but i cant see any rifles. I see cameras. So both sides are unarmed.

    What to call it ? Disciplined, stage managed playacting?

    Contrast with the Pak border that sees more action.When's the last time we went to war with Pakistan. Too bad we don't get any visuals from there. All hush hush.

    Clash between Chinese and Indian border troops sparks calls for tough response online | Global Times | Jul 03 2017

    Last edited by Double Edge; 03 Jul 17, at 22:27.

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    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    We're pushing back for a change.
    Good to hear what with China's constant admonition about historical claims we could one day all be living in Greenland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    War? really ? I've seen more dangerous drunken brawls than this.



    Can't tell anything about the authencity of this video and when it was taken but i cant see any rifles. I see cameras. So both sides are unarmed.

    What to call it ? Disciplined, stage managed playacting?

    Contrast with the Pak border that sees more action.When's the last time we went to war with Pakistan. Too bad we don't get any visuals from there. All hush hush.

    Clash between Chinese and Indian border troops sparks calls for tough response online | Global Times | Jul 03 2017

    According to Lt Gen Prakash Katoch, these face-offs occur once in 6 months. He says it's the normal PLA way to acclimatize (get to know) its soldiers to the front with India. And also when Indian leaders meet leaders of western countries who are seen to be inimical to Chinese interests. This is a routine scripted play by the PLA.

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