Himalaya border standoff between India, China ends

29 August, 2017, 01:08 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
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After almost two months of a tense border standoff high in the Himalayas, India and China have finally agreed to disengage their personnel at the disputed area in Doklam.

As part of the disengagement, the Chinese troops have left the disputed area of Dokalam along with bulldozers and removed the tents which they had pitched, according to a top Indian government official. India said both sides should withdraw their forces together.

The stand-off at the Doklam plateau began on June 16 and sparked what some analysts said was the worst crisis in decades between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

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In June, Indian soldiers had crossed the Sikkim border to stop China from constructing a road on the Doklam Plateau in Bhutan. The 75-day-long tense standoff came to a peaceful end ahead of the BRICS summit next week in China that is likely to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Dhruva Jaishankar, a foreign policy fellow with Brookings India, said India had achieved its objective by refusing to budge and getting China to step back from its contentious road project. "During these communications, we are able to express our views and convey our concern and interest" the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. There were speculations that the two countries could even go to war over the issue.

Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj had made New Delhi's stance clear that Indian Army will back off only PLA also withdraws and status quo is maintained.

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Without saying so directly, Beijing implied it would now not need to keep troops permanently stationed in the area, having moved a number there in response to the Indian deployment.

"The Chinese side will continue to exercise its sovereignty and uphold territorial integrity in accordance with the historical conventions", she further adds, reports Hindustan Times (HT). It does not say of whose border personnel - India, China or both? This suggests that there are continuing disagreements between the two sides, which should be a matter of concern.

China and India fought a brief war in 1962, leading to fears that the recent row could spiral out of control. It does not include the word "mutual" and it does not elaborate on what "expeditious disengagement" means, although most are taking that to refer to withdrawal. Beijing had accused India of transgressing into its territory and demanded immediate withdrawal of Indian troops.

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Both the sides have since been calling on each other to immediately withdraw troops.

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