India – China confrontation now a “complete stalemate” — situation is “grave” — China says no room for negotiations on Sikkim standoff with India

Benedict Brooknews.com.au

ASK most people to name a current crisis between nuclear armed states and North Korea and the US’ rapidly worsening relations would come to mind.

But there’s another skirmish happening between two nuclear nations and both have far more fully functioning missiles, poised and ready to fire, than Kim Jong-un could even dream off.

Ten thousand feet above sea level, in the sub zero cold of the Himalayas, things could be about to turn hot.

Since mid-June, Chinese and Indian soldiers have lined up “eyeball to eyeball” on the remote Doklam plateau. In recent days, more troops have been sent to the frontline.

Currently it’s a nonlethal battle of platitudes at altitude, but commentators in China have warned, “there could be a chance of war”.

And that’s not a great prospect, given India is thought to have more than 100 nuclear tipped missiles while China’s warheads could total more than 250.

The flashpoint between the two seems mundane ——the building of a new road on the Chinese controlled, but disputed, plateau. But the last time the two went to war, half a century ago, it was also over a road.

There is now said to be “complete stalemate” in the confrontation.

China and India acre wrangling over road access to a remote Himalayan plateau. AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

China and India acre wrangling over road access to a remote Himalayan plateau. AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)Source:AP

CONFLICT AT THE CHICKEN NECK

China and India have regularly come to blows on their 4000km long and infuriatingly ill-defined border. Remote and treacherous, few people live in these disrupted areas. But any moves to tame them such as, say, through the building of a road to make access easier, immediately risks a conflict.

The current anger kicked off in an area close to what India calls the “chicken neck” — a thin stretch of land that is the only direct link to country’s isolated north east.

Directly to the north is China, peering down from the mountains, covetous for some of the land it overlooks.

In early June, China commenced construction of a new road leading to the Doklam plateau, a disputed area it currently administers. It is close to the chicken neck at the so-called “tri junction” where its frontier meets both India and the tiny mountain kingdom of Bhutan.

India is concerned by any Chinese move to consolidate its control in area close to the “chicken neck” — a thin strip of land that is the only direct route to the country’s north east.

India is concerned by any Chinese move to consolidate its control in area close to the “chicken neck” — a thin strip of land that is the only direct route to the country’s north east.Source:Supplied

China accuses Indian troops stationed in Bhutan — which only has a small army and relies militarily on India — from straying across the frontier to prevent the road’s construction.

On Monday, China’s state news agency, Xinhua, said the Indian military’s “trespass into Chinese territory is a blatant infringement on China’s sovereignty”.

However, Bhutan says it is the rightful owner of the plateau.

While Bhutan is part of the stoush, the real battle of wills is between China and India which cite different treaties to back up their various claims to land along the frontier.

And these are no mere scraps of mountain here and there. India claims 250,000 square kilometres of Chinese controlled land while China says 550,000km sq of Indian administered land should belong to them.

The face-off is taking place between nuclear armed China and India on the border of Bhutan, one of the most peaceful nations on earth.

The face-off is taking place between nuclear armed China and India on the border of Bhutan, one of the most peaceful nations on earth. Source:istock

LINE OF ACTUAL CONTROL

“The failure to demarcate the China-India border has led to overlapping perceptions of where the so-called Line of Actual Control lies, guaranteeing rival border patrols will run into each other and force the issue,” Tsering Topgyal, an international relations expert at the University of Birmingham wrote in The Conversation in 2014.

On Tuesday, the Times of India said around 300-400 Indian troops were “eyeball to eyeball” with China in a “non-aggressive confrontation” but thousands more soldiers from both sides are close by. A further 2500 Indian troops has now been stationed in India’s Sikkim province, the province next to the tri point.

A Chinese and Indian soldier at the Nathu La border crossing between India and China in India's northeastern Sikkim state. Picture: AFP.

A Chinese and Indian soldier at the Nathu La border crossing between India and China in India’s northeastern Sikkim state. Picture: AFP.Source:AFP

‘GRAVE SITUATION’

The Indian External Affairs Ministry has justified the build up, saying a 2012 agreement meant the frontier at the tri-junction would be finalised between the three countries. Any attempt to unilaterally determine the tri-junction points is a “violation of this understanding”, the statement said, reported the Hindustan Times.

India sees the road as China asserting sovereignty.

Last week, China’s ambassador to New Delhi, Luo Zhaohui, said the situation was “grave” and Indian troops should “unconditionally pull back to the Indian side”.

“India, who calls Bhutan an ‘ally’, said it had intervened on behalf of its neighbour, yet the true subtext is the South Asian giant wants to maintain and expand regional hegemony” thundered Xinhua.

But India might scoff at China lecturing it on regional hegemony.

Beijing has been widening its influence across the Indian subcontinent, funding big infrastructure projects in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

A maritime analyst said Delhi is increasingly worried.

An Indian Agni-IV missile which is capable of delivering a one-tonne nuclear warhead anywhere in China. Picture AFP PHOTO / FILES / RAVEENDRAN

An Indian Agni-IV missile which is capable of delivering a one-tonne nuclear warhead anywhere in China. Picture AFP PHOTO / FILES / RAVEENDRANSource:AFP

“That means India is in some ways going to be surrounded by Chinese infrastructure projects. The fear is these Chinese ports could later be used for maritime and naval deployments,” Abhijit Singh of the Observer Research Foundation told the ABC.

In 1962, China and India’s border brinkmanship tipped over into war. More than 700 Chinese troops and 4000 Indian soldiers died before Beijing declared a ceasefire and victory.

That dispute began with the building of a Chinese road on disputed land but much farther west in Kashmir.

Earlier this month, China’s Global Times cited domestic security experts as saying that “there could be a chance of war if the recent conflict between China and India is not handled properly.

“China will resolutely defend its territory and safeguard the border.”

But when it comes to the border squabble close to the chicken’s neck, India is itself playing chicken.

Indian defence minister Arun Jaitley has a dark warning for China.

“The situation in 1962 was different and India of 2017 is different.”

The main difference is the India of 1962 did not have an arsenal of nuclear weapons. It has them now.

http://www.news.com.au/world/asia/warnings-of-a-chance-of-war-between-india-and-china-as-nuclear-rivals-face-off/news-story/325ace8a2957aeb6a3634db44a4c12e9

Related:

.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

*******************************************

China says no room for negotiations on Sikkim standoff with India
.
The commentary by the official Xinhua news agency warned that India could face “embarrassment” if it does not withdraw its border troops and sought to add yet another dimension to the face-off by bringing in the Ladakh region and linking it to Pakistan.

Jul 16, 2017 10:34 IST
.

Image may contain: one or more people and people standing

With no end in sight to the standoff in the Sikkim sector, China on Saturday said there is “no room” for negotiations to resolve the military face-off and the only solution is the withdrawal of Indian troops from the Donglang or Doklam region.

India will face “embarrassment” if it does not withdraw its border troops to its own side and the situation could get “worse”, the official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary on Saturday night.

“China has made it clear that there is no room for negotiations on this incident, and India must withdraw its border-crossing troops from Doklam. For China, border line is the bottom line,” the commentary said.

The commentary sought to add yet another dimension to the face-off by bringing in the Ladakh region and linking it to Pakistan, China’s “iron brother” ally.

“India should not regard the existing situation as the same as or even similar to the previous two standoffs in 2013 and 2014 near Ladakh, a disputed area between China, Pakistan and India in southeastern Kashmir. Diplomatic efforts led the troop’s frictions there to a well-arranged end. But this time it is a totally different case,” it added.

It is rare for China to call Ladakh a “disputed” region and make a reference to Kashmir.

This is the first time that China has clearly articulated – through one of its primary official channels – that there is no room for parleys to resolve the weeks-long impasse in Donglang, which is under China’s control but claimed by Bhutan.

Image may contain: text

.
Sikkim standoff: India pushes troops in Doka La in longest impasse since 1962
Until now, the foreign ministry had listed the withdrawal of Indian troops hinted as a precondition for resolving the face-off but had hinted there is an ongoing effort to end it through diplomatic negotiations.
Xinhua is an organ of the Chinese government and is affiliated to the State Council, the Communist country’s cabinet.Commentaries published by Xinhua and the People’s Daily, the Communist Party of China (CPC) mouthpiece, are taken to be a reflection of the thoughts of the government and the all-powerful CPC.

“India has repeatedly ignored China’s call for pulling its border-crossing troops from Doklam area back to its own territory. However, turning a deaf ear to China will but worsen the month-long standoff and put itself further into embarrassment,” the commentary said.

It added that India had “lied” to the world by saying it dispatched troops to Donglang to help its ally Bhutan, whereas “apparently” Thimphu had extended no invitation to New Delhi to intervene.

“New Delhi claimed encroachment of its own territory by China before saying it sent troops to ’protect’ its ‘ally’ Bhutan, a sovereign state which has apparently so far made no such an invitation for the sake of that boundary area,” it said.

Bhutan and China don’t have diplomatic ties but have held 24 rounds of talks to resolve a boundary dispute.

The commentary, however, described foreign secretary S Jaishankar’s remarks during a recent speech in Singapore as a “positive” sign.

“As an old Chinese saying goes, peace is most precious. It has been noticed that Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar recently has made positive remarks in Singapore, saying that ‘India and China should not let differences become disputes’,” it said.

“What China would like to see more are corresponding actions taken by India.

“China has a will to solve the problem peacefully by diplomatic means, and China also cherishes the peace and serenity in the border areas, but the precondition is that the trespassers of India must withdraw unconditionally.”

 http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/china-says-no-room-for-negotiations-on-standoff-ladakh-added-to-dispute-with-india/story-7ZD6hmRscxt9TqAUvGrn7I.html
Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “India – China confrontation now a “complete stalemate” — situation is “grave” — China says no room for negotiations on Sikkim standoff with India”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: