Are India and China heading to another war? There is more tension between the two giant economies in Asia over the Sikkim dispute at the border. The Indian army has been asked to withdraw troops from Doka La.
The warning comes from the Chinese government mouthpiece, Xinhua News Agency, which asserts that there could be serious implications if India interferes with China’s activities at the border. The official news agency asked New Delhi to respect the Sikkim section of the Indo-China border, as “demarcated by the 1890 Sino-British treaty.”
According to India, the 1890 Sikkim-Tibet treaty was just “a basis of alignment,” India Today reported. There are still major differences between India and China, especially regarding Beijing’s take on the India-China-Bhutan trijunction.
India earlier sent more troops to the border area in Sikkim. However, the Indian government has insisted that the troops are “non-combative.” The Indian army has been in a stand-off with its Chinese counterpart at the Sikkim border for a month now. Such a confrontation hasn’t happened in 55 years, the Times of India reported. The two countries, triggered by border disputes, had a war in 1962.
The Chinese military is reportedly building a road in the Doklam region. India has earlier expressed serious concern over China’s activities at the Sikkim border. According to New Delhi, such activities pose “serious security impact” for India.
Xinhua has now claimed that Indo-China bilateral relations will be affected if India deviates from “the consensus on developing China-India relations,” NDTV quoted. Xinhua has also reported that the two neighboring countries came to an agreement in 2012 about the Sikkim border.
China earlier claimed that it was India that had ignored international law and interfered with Beijing’s construction activities in the Chinese territory. Xinhua News Agency claimed that there was enough evidence to prove that the Indian army had violated the written agreement between the two countries. India apparently acknowledged, even in writing, that it did not have any objection to the direction of the Sikkim section.
China has strong words for the Indian army. It’ll be interesting to see how New Delhi responds to it.
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