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China showing 'aggressive posture' as India getting closer to U.S.: Experts

News Agencies | Updated on: 1 July 2017, 8:32 IST

Amid China's road building exercise into the Chumbi valley in the strategically located tri-junction between India, Bhutan and China, defence experts on Saturday said that China is showing its "aggressive posture" because India is getting closer to the United States.

Defence expert S.K. Sood told ANI that China will adopt such aggressive posture in near future also to avoid India of getting closer to the U.S.

"A part of the road falls in Bhutan. Now the point is how China was able to build this road without our knowledge. The other point is that the China is showing its aggressive posture because it perceives that India is getting closer to the U.S. especially after the recent visit and the joint declaration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump. Therefore, the Chinese will adopt an aggressive posture in near future to avoid India of getting any closer to the U.S.," he added.

Another defence expert P.K. Sehgal said it is a matter of "serious security concern" to India.

"Bhutan and Sikkim are separated by each other by the Chumbi valley which is in the hands of China. It points like a dagger to the critical Siliguri corridor. It gives an opening to China, hence, posing a security concern to India," he added.

India on Friday expressed deep concern over the Chinese incursion into Sikkim and said New Delhi cherishes peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in a statement, said the India is deeply concerned at the recent Chinese attempt to construct a road Doka La area in Sikkim.

"India 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 statement said.

It further added 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."

India's response comes after the Chinese Foreign Ministry on June 26, 2017 alleged that Indian border troops crossed the boundary line in the Sikkim sector of the China-India boundary and entered Chinese territory.

The MEA said, as a matter of fact, the Chinese troops violated border agreement.

"On June 16, a People's Liberation Army (PLA) construction party entered the Doka La area and attempted to construct a road and a Royal Bhutan Army patrol attempted to dissuade them from this unilateral activity," the MEA statement asserted.

The MEA further said that Bhutan has also publically said that China tried to construct a road in Sikkim.

"The Ambassador of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) has publically stated that it lodged a protest with the Chinese Government through their Embassy in New Delhi on June 20.

On Thursday, the Foreign Ministry of Bhutan has also issued a statement underlining that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the 1988 and 1998 agreements between Bhutan and China and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between these two countries. They (Bhutan) have urged a return to the status quo as before 16 June 2017."

The MEA further added that "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".

New Delhi said that in coordination with the RGOB, Indian personnel, who were present at general area Doka La, approached the Chinese construction party and urged them to desist from changing the status quo. These efforts continue".

"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 June 20."

India said as far as the boundary in the Sikkim sector is concerned, "India and China had reached an understanding also in 2012 reconfirming their mutual agreement on the 'basis of the alignment'. Further discussions regarding finalization of the boundary have been taking place under the Special Representatives framework".

The MEA maintained that India has consistently taken a positive approach to the settlement of its own boundary with China, along with the associated issue of the tri-junctions. The MEA statement maintained that "India is committed to working with China to find peaceful resolution of all issues in the border areas through dialogue".


First published: 1 July 2017, 8:32 IST