Sunday, Jul 14, 2024 | Last Update : 12:04 AM IST

  India   All India  01 Jul 2017  Sikkim standoff: Jaitley slams China, says India of 2017 different from 1962

Sikkim standoff: Jaitley slams China, says India of 2017 different from 1962

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jul 1, 2017, 3:40 am IST
Updated : Jul 1, 2017, 3:40 am IST

As per the latest position, Indian and Chinese troops are locked in a face-off in the area, but there has been no combat situation.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley (Photo: PTI)
 Defence Minister Arun Jaitley (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Amid a border flare-up with China over its bid to build a road in Bhutanese territory, New Delhi on Friday told Beijing that its recent actions have “serious” security  implications even as Defence Minister Arun Jaitley hinted that the neighbour should not to underestimate the country’s military might.

Sending a strong message to China after its threat that New Delhi should not forget the historical lessons of the 1962 war, Jaitley said: “If they are trying to remind us… the situation in 1962 was different and India of 2017 is different.”

On a day when Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar reviewed the situation in the Sikkim sector following the Chinese belligerence, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday said it is “deeply concerned at the recent Chinese actions and has conveyed to the Chinese Government that such construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India”.

The MEA broke its silence for the first time after the Indian Army made its first military intervention of sorts two weeks ago on behalf of Bhutan by physically blocking Chinese troops from constructing a road in the Bhutanese “Doklam area” border territory near Indian border defences.

As per the latest position, Indian and Chinese troops are locked in a face-off in the area, but there has been no combat situation. With the Chinese dragon breathing fire, India also said it was engaged diplomatically with Beijing on the matter.

“The Bhutan government had issued a statement yesterday in which it made it clear that the land in question belonged to Bhutan. It is located near India’s land. There is an arrangement between India and Bhutan for giving security,” the defence minister was quoted as saying.

On Thursday, China asked India to withdraw its troops from the Donglong as a precondition for a “meaningful dialogue” to settle the boundary issue, warning that the Indian Army should learn “historical lessons”, in a reference to the 1962 war.

The road that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) wanted to build would have ended extremely close to Indian defences which is why New Delhi was so anxious to prevent the construction.

New Delhi is also upset since the area is at a trijunction of India (Sikkim), China and Bhutan. Beijing had agreed earlier that the “tri-junction boundary points between India, China and third countries will be finalised in consultation with the concerned countries” and that “any attempt, therefore, to unilaterally determine tri-junction points is in violation of this understanding”.

Bhutan had also on Thursday accused China of violating their agreement of not undertaking unilateral action pending resolution of the Bhutan-China boundary dispute.

But the developments have once again highlighted how close Bhutan—a sovereign nation—-is to India, with the Bhutan asking India for help once their requests to the Chinese PLA not to go ahead with the construction fell on deaf ears.
 
“On 16 June, a PLA construction party entered the Doklam area and attempted to construct a road. It is our understanding that a Royal Bhutan Army patrol attempted to dissuade them from this unilateral activity. The Ambassador of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) has publicly stated that it lodged a protest with the Chinese Government through their Embassy in New Delhi on 20 June,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

“In keeping with their tradition of maintaining close consultation on matters of mutual interest, RGOB and the Government of India have been in continuous contact through the unfolding of these developments. In coordination with the RGOB, Indian personnel, who were present at general area Doka La (Sikkim), approached the Chinese construction party and urged them to desist from changing the status quo. These efforts continue,” the MEA added.

“In this context, the Indian side has underlined that the two Governments had in 2012 reached agreement that the tri-junction boundary points between India, China and third countries will be finalised in consultation with the concerned countries. Any attempt, therefore, to unilaterally determine tri-junction points is in violation of this understanding,” New Delhi said.

“The matter has been under discussion between India and China at the diplomatic level in the Foreign Ministries since then, both in New Delhi and Beijing. It was also the subject of a Border Personnel Meeting at Nathu La on 20 June,” the ministry said.

Tags: arun jaitley, sikkim standoff, bipin rawat, ajit doval
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi