NEW DELHI: Amidst tension at the border, the Chinese military has not accepted India’s offer for Border Personnel Meeting (BMP), scheduled for Tuesday on the occasion of India’s Independence Day. Though an annual meeting of military commanders is ‘ceremonial’, but in view of the present scenario, such meeting becomes important.
“We have not received any confirmation from the Chinese military regarding attending tomorrow’s Border Personnel Meeting (BMP),” said a senior official in the south block.
There are five BPM points at Bum La and Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh, Daulat Beg Oldi and Chushul in Ladakh and Nathu La in Sikkim.
Indian and Chinese militaries are engaged in an eyeball to eyeball situation in the Dokalam plateau, close to Sikkim over the construction of a road by Chinese military since June 16. And there are over 300 troops stationed from Indian army side at the face off site and nearly similar numbers of soldiers were also from Chinese People Liberation Army (PLA). However, due to a strategical location of the Chumbi valley, the Indian army has strengthened its military assets close to the disputed site, in order to prevent any further escalation.
Indian Army has gone completely quiet on the issue, even as sources said diplomatic efforts are on to find a mutually acceptable solution to the standoff. An official expressed hope that a solution could emerge before the upcoming BRICS summit in China for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to travel next month in September.
In fact, due to ongoing stand off, annual bilateral military training exercise between Indian and Chinese army called Hand-in-Hand is also hanging in balance, as so far no formal communication between the two sides have initiated. Normally, Hand-in-Hand exercise between India and China happens in the October- November every year and process for it starts in June/
“Till date, joint planning conference has not happened. And also so far there has been no formal communication on the cancellation of it. We are waiting from Chinese side to react,” the source added. Six editions of the exercises have been held so far.
In view of continuous aggression by Chinese, Army has issued an Operational Alert for its formations guarding the area. Sukma based 33 Corps, which looks after Sikkim has advanced its annual training exercise, which including stocking of ration for winter, familiarising troops to the new area by acclimatization at higher altitude. However, the Indian Army has called the troop movement in the area a regular maintenance move.
China has been sending warning signals to India along with consolidating its presence close to the faceoff site. In fact on Wednesday, China Daily warned that ‘the countdown to a clash between the two forces has begun’.
China has been insisting that India withdraws its troops from Doklam where both sides have been locked in a nearly two-month stand-off. On the other hand, the New Delhi is a simultaneous withdrawal from Doklam, which, it says, belongs to its other neighbour Bhutan.