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India sensitizes Bhutan over Chinese encroachment, holds the line in East Ladakh

Source : Hindustan Times

India sensitizes Bhutan over Chinese encroachment, holds the line in East Ladakh
Utopian border villages build by China across the Arunachal Pradesh LAC.



Although India has sensitized Bhutan on China translocating villages along the Amu Chu to re-align border claims in the disputed tri-junction area near the Doklam plateau, the larger aim of Beijing is to consolidate its boundary claims all along the 3488 km Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India and the 477 km contested border with Thimpu.

According to Beijing watchers, the strategy to build model villages near the LAC and in disputed territory with Bhutan and then trans-locating populations and rehabilitating ex-servicemen is part of President Xi Jinping’s plan to build an impregnable fortress to push Han Chinese rule in Tibet and to cull separatism by Sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism in the Autonomous Region. The same exercise is on in Sunni dominated Xinjiang province with Islamic leadership looking the other way.

The recent satellite imagery of a Chinese Utopian village with cars and garden along the Amu Chu in contested territory with Bhutan and the spurt of border villages all along the LAC particularly in middle and eastern sector are all part of Fortress Tibet exercise of the Chinese Communist Party.

While India is monitoring the Chinese plan unfold along its northern borders and on border with Bhutan, it is involved in hard negotiations with the PLA on resolution of the May 2020 transgression by the Chinese Army without giving up on any of its land claims. Even though there were news reports about the PLA willing to disengage from patrolling point 15 in Khugrang Nullah area of East Ladakh, fact is that the last senior military commanders meeting on July 17 saw firm negotiations from both sides on how to restore April 2020 status quo ante along the 1597 km LAC in East Ladakh.

Although disengagement and de-escalation in East Ladakh is not priority one for Beijing, the Narendra Modi government is clear that normalization of bilateral ties will only follow the resolution of East Ladakh LAC, and the Indian Army is allowed normal border patrolling along its 65 border points defined on the map. The Indian side wants PLA to stop blocking Indian army patrols in Depsang Bulge area in DBO sector and Charding Nullah junction area in Demchok sector. The Modi government also wants the Xi Jinping regime to honor the 1993 and 1996 bilateral border agreements signed by apex leadership on both sides.

Even though both the armies are deployed in full strength along the Ladakh LAC, the senior commanders on both sides are in touch with each other and hence reducing the risk of sudden escalation on the borders. However, the Indian side knows that PLA only understands the language of military power and is dismissive of any dialogue to resolve a border issue. Just like PLA tried to impose the already rejected 1959 line revealed by then Chinese Premier Zhou En-Lai on the East Ladakh LAC, it is muscling into Bhutanese territory by pushing its way through against a puny neighbor in Doklam tri-junction area while ostensibly in a border dialogue with Thimpu.

The Chinese aggression is expected to increase further after President Xi Jinping is elected for the third time later this year as the eternal leader has set his eyes on reclaiming Taiwan and consolidating Buddhist Tibet and Sunni Muslim dominated Xinjiang through coercion and military power.

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