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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/3/17

China releases new map to buttress its claim over territorial dispute with India as boarder stand-off continues

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China Friday released a new map to buttress its claim that India had trespassed into Chinese territory earlier last month amid reports that both countries have deployed more troops in the area.

The Chinese map shows that the Indian Army crossed the border at Doka La pass into the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector, which is a part of its territory. The map was posted on the Chinese section of the foreign ministry's website.

On Thursday, China released two pictures to show Indian troops transgression on the Chinese side of the border. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang displayed the two photographs claiming Doklam as a part of its territory. The photos showed bulldozers of Indian military on the Chinese side of the border.

Giving details for the first time about the events that preceded the face-off between the two armies, the Indian sources were reported by the Press Trust of India (PTI) as saying that the Chinese Army on June 1 asked the Indian Army to remove the two bunkers set up in 2012 at Lalten in Doka La, which falls in the vicinity of Chumbi Valley at the corner of India-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction.

The Indian Army forward positions informed Sukna-based 33 Corps Headquarter in North Bengal about the Chinese warnings on the bunkers, the sources said. However, during the night of June 6, two Chinese bulldozers destroyed the bunkers, claiming that the area belonged to China and that India or Bhutan had no right over it, the sources said.

Indian troops on the ground prevented the Chinese men and machines from doing any further damage or transgressing into the area, they said.

Additional forces from nearby brigade headquarters, located 20 km from the face off point, were moved in on June 8 during which a scuffle led to soldiers on both sides suffering minor injuries. Chinese troops were rushed in from its 141 division located in the area, prompting the Indian Army to also strengthen its position, the Press Trust of India said.

This is the longest standoff between the two armies since 1962. The last one, which carried on for 21 days, occurred at Daulat Beg Oldie in the Ladakh division of Jammu and Kashmir in 2013, when Chinese troops entered 30 km into Indian territory till the Depsang Plains and claimed it to be a part of its Xinjiang province, according to PTI.

As the scuffle broke out between the two sides, the Indian Army rushed an officer of the Major General rank to the area and a flag meeting was sought with the Chinese counterparts. China rejected two such requests from the Indian side, but accepted the third call for a meeting, where it asked the Indian Army to withdraw its troops from the Lalten area, which falls in Doka La, the PTI said.

One Belt One Road project

Many analysts have pointed out that the border stand-off could be China's way of dealing with India after the latter put a spanner on its ambitious One Belt One Road project.

The Xinhua news agency said Saturday that India should shed its strategic anxiety over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and join the Belt and Road Initiative to become a cooperative partner and not a rival.

The Xinhua commentary - India's China-phobia Might Lead To Strategic Myopia -- criticized New Delhi's boycott of the Belt and Road Forum conference held in May and asked India to shed its China anxiety.

India boycotted the BRF because of "sovereignty concerns" over the US $50-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which traverses through Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Then India said the Chinese ambitious initiative must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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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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