Saturday, 12 August 2017

Escalating tension between India and China

There's any number of ways humanity can blow itself up

Indian army soldiers (File)‘No War, No Peace’: India Raises Military Alert Level Over China Border Dispute

11 August, 2017

The standoff between China and India along the Doklam Plateau has shown no signs of de-escalating, as India continues to bolster its strength and increase operational readiness along the border.

New Delhi raised the military alertness level as a "matter of caution," according to anonymous sources speaking to Reuters. The level in question is known as "no war, no peace," and instructs the soldiers to take defensive positions. 
India sends its troops onto "operational alert" every year in the fall — but this year the state has been activated early. "It's out of caution. It has been done because of the situation,"  the anonymous source told Reuters. "The troop level along the border with China in the Sikkim and Arunachal sectors [next to Doklam] has been increased," another anonymous official told the India Times.
New Delhi is split over its next course of action. On August 4, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called for a bilateral troop retreat to increase the chances of a peaceful resolution, while Defense Minister Arun Jaitley told the National Parliament on Friday that the military was "prepared to take on any eventuality" in the stand-off. 
Jaitley also denied reports of ammunition shortages, after a Comptroller and Auditor General report found that the border forces only had enough to fight for 20 days. "Our defense forces have adequate equipment to face any eventuality," Jaitley said. Since the report, "significant process has been made. It is a continuous process. Therefore, nobody should have any doubt about the availability of equipment or the preparedness of our forces."
For seven weeks now, China and India have faced off over the Doklam plateau, an area disputed by China and India's ally Bhutan. This sequence of events began when China attempted to build a road through remote and rugged Doklam, which they call Donglang and claim is a part of Tibet. Bhutan protested, as they also claim Doklam as part of their territory. Bhutan and India are signatories of a "Friendship Treaty," and so India intervened on their smaller ally's behalf.
The construction of the road screeched to a halt after India dispatched troops to the region, which China claims is a violation of their sovereignty. The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has planted its feet and claimed the Chinese project threatens India's security.
China's demands for India to pull back were ignored, and so Beijing deployed their own forces to the disputed border. Hundreds of soldiers from the two most populous nations in the world stand within view of one another. China continues to warn of "counter-measures" to escalate against India if New Delhi doesn't back down.
Earlier in August, talks to end the stalemate stalled after New Delhi did not respond to Beijing's offer to move their troops back 100 meters (328 feet) if India removed their troops from Doklam. 
Doklam has proved the flashpoint to years of simmering tension between the nations. A similar three-week standoff occurred in 2013 over Aksai Chin, another disputed territory between China and India. China has also expanded its economic and military relationship with Pakistan, India's perennial rival.
Meanwhile, India has strengthened its ties with the United States and Japan, geopolitical adversaries of Beijing. 

As if North Korea Wasn't Bad Enough: China Says Countdown to WAR with India Has Begun


11 August, 2017

The relationship between India and China seemed to worsen Wednesday when the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that 53 people and an Indian bulldozer was in China's territory and advised India to pull them back. This followed a warning Tuesday when an editorial in the state-run China Daily said that the "countdown to a clash between the two forces has begun."
"India should withdraw its troops and equipment. Regardless of how many Indian troops have trespassed into and stayed in Chinese territory, they have gravely infringed on China's sovereignty," the ministry said, the Global Times reported.
The China Daily editorial said the clock was ticking and that it seemed like a clash would be “an inevitable conclusion” between the two prominent Asian countries if India did pull back its troops from the disputed Doklam region.
The article referred to a border standoff between the two countries that has continued for over two months. The controversy began when India opposed China’s plan to extend a border road through a disputed plateau which Bhutan says is its Doklam region and China claims as part of its Donglang region. 
India and Bhutan have historically maintained strong relations. The Indian Army is involved in training the Royal Bhutan Army, while Bhutan cooperates closely with India in determining its foreign policy. India has expressed concern that the road, if completed, would make it easier for China to access India's northeastern states. In the event of a conflict, India fears this would help China cut off its northeast from the rest of the country, the BBC reported.
The editorial on Tuesday said that while Beijing had tried time and again to avoid conflict and warned India on several occasions, India has refrained from pulling back its troops. "Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear will have got the message. Yet New Delhi refuses to come to its senses and pull its troops back to its own side of the border," it stated.
According to the newspaper, a spokesman for China's Ministry of Defense warned India not to underestimate the Chinese army and that there was a “bottom line” to the restraint that China had shown. It added that “India’s audacity” to challenge China might have come from the fact that India was suffering from a sense of insecurity and inferiority faced with China’s increasing prominence in the region.
While China has warned India about consequences of not pulling back its army, India does not look like it is backing down. Speaking in India’s parliament on Wednesday, Defense Minister Arun Jaitley said the country was ready to meet any challenge. Referring to the war that took place in 1962 between the two countries, which India lost, Jaitley said the country had learned many lessons from it.
"Some people are targeting our country's sovereignty and integrity. But I am fully confident that our brave soldiers have capability to keep our country secure, may it be challenges on the eastern border or the western border," he said, according to reports.
China and India share a border that extends 2,174 miles. Following the war in 1962, disputes in areas like Aksai Chin, Depsang Plains and some areas in the northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, have remained unresolved.
Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who resides in India, has also been a sticking point between the two countries. Speaking on the issue the Dalai Lama on Wednesday emphasized that talks are the only solution. "I do not think it is very serious. India and China have to live side by side." He said, according to reports

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