NEW DELHI: As the stand-off continues between India and Chinese People’s Liberation Army PLA over construction of a road in disputed area in Sikkim, soldiers from both sides are waiting for a diplomatic solution as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany later this week.
Moreover, local commanders level meeting is expected to happen soon as the last two attempts to invite meeting were rejected by the Chinese side.
PM Modi and Jinping will be at Hamburg in Germany for the 12th G20 summit on July 7 and 8 during which they are expected to meet. The issue of standoff is expected to figure in their conversation given the intensity it has generated on both sides.
China has been reacting sharply to this and has accused the “Indian troops of trespassing the recognised and delineated boundary” between the two countries.
Both sides had deployed additional troops after the initial face-off at the Doka-La area of Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction claimed on which all three countries have claims. Doka La is at the tri-junction of Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet and is strategically important for India as the crucial Siliguri corridor known as the Chicken Neck having road and rail head is just 50 to 60 km from there.
Sources said that army has reservations over China building a road upto Dolam, as the buffer region leading to Chicken Neck Siliguri circuit would be dissolved. The Indian Army had blocked construction of the road by China in Donglong, a disputed territory between China and Bhutan.
Of the 3,488-km-long India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-km section falls in Sikkim. Official sources said China had removed an old bunker of the Indian Army in Donglong by using a bulldozer after the Indian side refused to accede to its request, which triggered the face-off.
In fact, a Chinese submarine has been spotted in patrolling in the Indian Ocean Region for past few days. However, naval sources claimed that PLA Navy’s submarine was moving in international waters, not in Indian territorial waters and it was part of the Chinese navy’s anti-piracy deployment.