Washington: China has quietly resumed its activities in the Doklam area, a question raised by Congresswoman Ann Wagner during a Congressional hearing indicates. “Although [India and China backed down in Doklam], China has quietly resumed its activities [in the area] and neither Bhutan nor India has sought to dissuade it. China’s activities in the Himalayas remind me of its South China Sea policies. How should our failure to respond to the militarisation of the South China Sea inform the international response to these Himalayan border disputes?” Wagner said.
Wagner compared Beijing’s actions in the Himalayan region with its manouevres in the disputed South China Sea.
“I would assess that India is vigorously defending its northern borders and this is a subject of concern to India,” Alice G Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia told lawmakers in response to Wagner’s question that pertained to China’s increased road building activities along the Indian border.
India and China have clashed repeatedly over territories in the Himalayas. Most recently troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day-long stand-off in Doklam from June 16 last after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed tri-junction by the Chinese Army. Bhutan and China have a dispute over Doklam. The face-off ended August 28.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for External Affairs Ministry VK Singh Thursday told the Rajya Sabha that status quo prevails in Doklam since mutual disengagement in August.
“Since the disengagement of Indian and Chinese border personnel in the Doklam area on August 28, 2017, there have been no new developments at the faceoff site and its vicinity,” Singh said in a written reply to the question whether China had constructed new roads in the southern part of the Doklam Plateau.
“In our high-level exchanges with China, the government has consistently maintained that peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas is an important pre-requisite for the smooth development of bilateral relations,” Singh said.
The government keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India’s security and takes all necessary measures to safeguard it, he said.
I am writing this from the United States, where I attended an interesting solidarity meeting that I thought I should...Read more