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China again warns India on border dispute as Sikkim standoff continues

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India must withdraw its troops on the Doklam plateau or "face consequences", said Liu Jinsong, Chinese Deputy Chief of Mission in New Delhi on Thursday.

The Hindu newspaper said that Jinsong's remarks mark a serious escalation in rhetoric over the ongoing tensions between the two countries, as their armies continue a six-week-long standoff near the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction off Sikkim.

"The crossing of the boundary line by Indian troops into the territory of China using the pretext of security concerns for a 3rd party (Bhutan) is illegal," Liu Jinsong said. "Troops should be withdrawn immediately; otherwise there will be serious consequences."

The diplomat said that the Indian action at Doklam was akin to "intruding into your neighbors house," and quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping: "Military option is the fundamental guarantor of sovereignty."

India denies Chinese report of pulling out most troops from Doklam

Meanwhile India has rejected China's statement that the number of Indian soldiers at the actual confrontation site had gone down from 400 to just over 40 by the end of July.

India has not pulled back troops from the Doklam face-off with the People's Liberation Army, Indian sources said, according to the Times of India.

The Times of India said that the Chinese foreign ministry, through a 15-page statement with maps, photographs, and documents on Wednesday, seemed to imply that the Doklam crisis in Bhutanese territory near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet trijunction had finally begun to de-escalate, with India backing down from the confrontation after 45 long days.

Transgressions by PLA along LAC likely to rise

Transgressions by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) across different sectors of the 4,057-kilometre-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) -- the de facto boundary between India and China -- can increase in the coming months as India remains committed to thwarting Beijing's designs in Dokalam plateau, according to the Times of India.

With PLA failing to make headway in the Sino-Bhutan-India trijunction to create infrastructure and claim territory, there is apprehension that transgressions by the Chinese troops along LAC in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Ladakh could spike in order to create pressure on India, according to the Times of India, which quoted persons familiar with Chinese military strategy.

Initial signs of this PLA strategy amid the Dokalam standoff were first visible along LAC in Uttarakhand and then in Himachal Pradesh, the paper said, adding that Heightened Chinese activities have been reported along the LAC in Tibet across two Himachal Pradesh districts days after PLA transgressions in Uttarakhand territory.

While transgressions along LAC often happen due to differing perceptions of LAC, an increase in such attempts by China is not ruled out in the coming months, whose purpose is to engage Indian troops across various sectors of LAC, the Times of India said.

It may be recalled that weeks before the Dokalam standoff Chinese aircraft had flown over Uttarakhand. LAC is divided into three sectors -- Eastern (Arunachal Pradesh), Central or Middle (Sikkim, Uttarakhand, and Himachal), and Western (Ladakh and Kashmir).

Sikkim Standoff

Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a face-off in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector since June 26, after Indian troops reportedly stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area.

China said that they were constructing the road within their territory and has been demanding an immediate pull-out of the Indian troops from the disputed Doklam plateau.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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