India, China Avert Another Doklam Standoff in Arunachal’s Tuting
A 12-feet-wide, 1-km-long track inside the territory was to be built by the Chinese troops.
Following a Border Personnel Meeting between the Chinese and the Indian side, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat informed the media on Monday, 8 January, that both sides have resolved the intrusion incident in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tuting area. India and China had nearly averted a Doklam-like face-off, Indian Express reported.
The Chinese had attempted to build a track on the Indian side of Line of Control (LAC) in Tuting area of Arunachal Pradesh. According to the Indian Express report, a 12-foot-wide, 1-km-long track inside the territory was to be built by the Chinese troops. The bent nature of tracks in mountain areas, however, meant the Chinese would have penetrated only about 400 metres into Arunachal Pradesh, said the report.
On 26 December, the Indian Army and Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) had thwarted their plan. The remote area, at an altitude of over 12,000 feet, is manned by the ITBP. The construction activity was to take place 2 kms away from the nearest ITBP post, Indian Express reported.
Chinese workers had agreed to cease road-construction activity across the LAC in Arunachal. The workers turned back into Chinese territory when confronted by Indian troops, and left behind various road-building equipment, including excavators, reported ANI.
Thereafter, the Indian troops returned two earth excavators and other seized equipment that were being used in the construction exercise.
“The Tuting incident has been resolved. A Border Personnel Meeting between the two sides in Arunachal two days ago had resolved the issue,” Rawat was quoted as saying by PTI.
Falling on the disputed LAC, the area of Bishing does not witness frequent Chinese incursions or clashes with Indian patrols.
In an address at an event on modernisation of the armed forces, the army chief said forces will have to prepare themselves for future wars that are likely to be fought on difficult terrains and circumstances.
In an apparent reference to China, General Rawat cautioned that China had started “flexing its muscles” and that India should be prepared for a two-front war against such attempts.
He had also said China was trying to take over Indian territory in a gradual manner, and cautioned the forces to guard against such attempts. “Future wars will be fought in difficult terrains and circumstances. We have to be prepared for them,” Gen. Rawat had said.
In response to a question regarding the reduction of Chinese troops in India post the Doklam stand-off, Army Chief General Rawat on Monday replied by saying that there has been a “very major reduction” from the Chinese side, reports ANI.
The incident came nearly four months after the end of the 73-day Doklam standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Sikkim sector.
The Chinese troops had begun construction for expansion on existing road southward in Doklam, a territory that has been claimed by both China as well as Bhutan, a strong ally of India. Two days following news of China’s road construction, about 270 Indian troops entered Doklam to stop them. The ‘Doklam standoff’ as it is now popularly known as, went on till 28 August 2017 until both sides decided to call off their troops.
Speaking at an Army Technology Seminar in Delhi on Monday, Rawat had also said that there existed a need for India to become more ‘self-reliant’ and reduce imports in the defence technology, said the Indian Express.
“We would like to gradually move away from imports (in defence technology) because for a nation like ours, the time has come to ensure that we fight the next war with home-made solution,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI and Indian Express)
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