China demands India remove troops from disputed border region

Beijing’s foreign ministry claims India has been building up forces and repairing roads along its side of the border near Bhutan

Chinese and Indian soldiers at the Nathu La border crossing between India and China in India’s north-eastern Sikkim state.
Chinese and Indian soldiers at the Nathu La border crossing between India and China in India’s north-eastern Sikkim state. Photograph: Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images

China has demanded India immediately remove troops from the border amid an increasingly tense stand-off in the remote frontier region beside the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.

The Chinese foreign ministry on Thursday said India had been building up troops and repairing roads along its side of the border next to the mountainous Indian state of Sikkim.

The stand-off ratchets up tension between the neighbours, who share a 2,175 mile (3,500km) frontier, large parts of which are disputed.

“It has already been more than a month since the incident and India is still not only illegally remaining on Chinese territory, it is also repairing roads in the rear, stocking up supplies, massing a large number of armed personnel,” said a foreign ministry statement from Beijing.

“This is certainly not for peace.”

Early in June, according to the Chinese interpretation of events, Indian guards crossed into China’s Donglang region and obstructed work on a road on the plateau.

The two sides’ troops then confronted each other close to a valley controlled by China that separates India from its close ally, Bhutan, and gives China access to the so-called Chicken’s Neck, a thin strip of land connecting India and its remote north-eastern regions.

India has said it warned China that construction of the road near their common border would have serious security implications.

The Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, is to visit China early in September for a summit of leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Indian officials say about 300 soldiers from either side are facing each other about 150 meters (yards) apart on the plateau.

They have told Reuters that both sides’ diplomats have quietly engaged to try to keep the stand-off from escalating, and that India’s ambassador to Beijing is leading the effort to find a way for both sides to back down without loss of face.

Chinese state media have warned India of a fate worse than the defeat it suffered in a brief border war in 1962. China’s military has held live fire drills close to the disputed area, it said last month. On Friday the official China Daily said in an editorial that China was not in the mood for a fight, noting how the stand-off had been “unusually restrained”.

“However, if good manners do not work, in the end it may be necessary to rethink our approach. Sometimes a head-on blow may work better than a thousand pleas in waking up a dreamer,” the English-language paper added.

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This entry was posted in China - India relationship and tagged by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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