Published: Tue, August 01, 2017
Sci-tech | By Javier West

India plays down Chinese intrusion in Uttarakhand

India plays down Chinese intrusion in Uttarakhand

In an ominous move amid the Sino-Indian military stand-off in Doklam, Chinese troops reportedly transgressed one kilometre into Indian territory in the Barahoti area of Uttarakhand's Chamoli district on July 25 and threatened Indian shepherds grazing cattle. Previous year also a similar incident was reported from the region.

As regards the situation in Doklam, sources said status quo remains with at least 250 Indian soldiers and more or less the same number of Chinese troops facing each other since June 16. The Chinese incursion had occurred earlier this week, but it has been reported to the media today only.

The area is a declared disputed area and a demilitarised zone. Three days later, an air transgression by a Chinese helicopter was reported in the same area. The Chinese troops left after the Indian side protested. India sends a civilian group backed by ITBP in civilian clothes to measure the area.

However, the Chinese official media has been carrying a blistering campaign accusing India of trespassing into the Chinese territory.

"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 ..." In the absence of Indian forces, China would be seen as dealing "bilaterally" with Bhutan, paving the way for a final disengagement between these two countries, without compromising India's interests.

Accusing India of manipulating Bhutan, the Global Times said, "Has New Delhi ever considered the will of Bhutan, an independent state?"

It quoted Macau-based Antony Wong Dong as saying: "India is strategically located at the heart of China's energy lifeline and the Belt and Road Initiative, and offending India will only push it into the rival camp, which [Beijing believes] is scheming to contain China by blocking the Malacca Strait and the Indian Ocean".

"All this while China has been building roads... various activities have been going on". They "should not be given undue importance", they added.

While China has been demanding that India must withdraw its troops from Doklam for a dialogue to begin, India has said that troops of both sides should withdraw simultaneously.

Xi also said the PLA should strictly follow the absolute leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and "march to wherever the Party points to".

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