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Sikkim standoff:China warns Indian troops of 'annihilation'

07 August 2017

In an interaction on Thursday, Chinese Deputy Chief of Mission Liu Jinsong had warned that India would face "serious consequences" if it doesn't withdraw all its troops from the area. The dispute arose after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the region in mid-June.

India claims Sikkim border as part of its territory, while China has said that the area falls on their side as per the 1890 treaty signed between British and China. If China was able to block the corridor, it would isolate India's northeast from the rest of the country.

"If India refuses to withdraw, China may conduct a small-scale military operation within two weeks", he said. But what has evaded nearly everyone's attention is Bhutan. China is adamant about its stance on Doklam-make no mistake about it. India's intrusion into Chinese territory under the pretext of Bhutan has not only violated China's territorial sovereignty, but also challenged Bhutan's sovereignty and independence.

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A great deal of words have already been exchanged between high-level officials of the two Asian giants, but there doesn't seem to be any solution, at least in the very short term, to the border impasse. "China's move is aimed at not providing any scope for discussion before India fulfils its demand of pulling back its troops from Doklam". Backing down this early would only embolden the other to encroach on its territory or sphere of influence.

Despite China's numerous diplomatic representations, its foreign ministry said, India has not only not withdrawn its troops but has also been making "unreasonable demands" and is not honest about a resolution. "This is untenable from India's point of view", he said.

Baglay, however, reaffirmed India's position on the issue which is that peace and tranquility should prevail along the border for bilateral relations to develop.

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Referring to India's June 30 statement on the issue, he said it was put out after "careful deliberations".

Despite China raising the ante over the Doklam stand-off, India has maintained that it will continue to engage with Beijing diplomatically to resolve the border standoff and that war is not a solution. She underlined that China had been contributing to India's economic growth and had huge stakes in the country. In fact, it has been said that the prevailing sentiment in Bhutan is quite the opposite.

The two sides' troops are confronting 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 northeastern regions. China too has shown an inclination towards establishing diplomatic ties with Bhutan (currently there are none).

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"The exchanges and cooperation between china and India would contribute to overall atmosphere of the relationship". We could be in a full-scale war with China within a month. Bhutan, like any free country, wants to wield control over its own affairs free of the influence of either Delhi or Beijing. China is issuing statements on a daily basis and as a former Indian diplomat pointed out, agreeing with Karat, that this is well out of the realm of rhetoric.

Sikkim standoff:China warns Indian troops of 'annihilation'