At the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction, the biggest confrontation between Indian and China troops has emerged, in decades. Both the sides India and China have deployed 3000 troops each for an ongoing troop face-off and pump in reinforcements to the regions remotest border.
On Thursday, the headquarters of 27 Mountain Division in Kalimpong and17 Mountain Division in Gangtok were visited by General Bipin Rawat, the Army Chief General for reviewing the ground situation. At the tri-junction both the rival armies had strengthened their positions in a eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation, virtually.
Nothing has been stated by the Indian Army so far, however other sources state that over the years, at the tri-junction, there have been other troop standoffs. The most serious one was the Doka La General area.
None of the sides want to budge from their positioning. Till now talks and flag meetings between the rival commanders haven’t been successful, states a source.
When General Rawat visited the deployments for extensive discussions, all top officers including the 17 Division commanders and 33 Corps were present. A source states that on June 30th the Chief is to return to New Delhi.
Aggressive posturing of Beijing hasn’t deterred India. India has clarified that it will not allow construction of the motorable Class-40 road from China to the tri-junction through Bhutanese territory. Bhutan too has asked China to stop the work immediately, by issuing a demarche to China. Efforts are being made by China to construct the road that can take weight of heavy military vehicles, including artillery guns, battle tanks and the like, says a source.
Since the last two decades China has been urging Bhutan to enter into a ‘package deal. As far as the Doklam Plateau is concerned, especially the ‘Chicken’s Neck’ area and the Zomplri Ridge area, India is very militarily sensitive.
In Siliquri corridor, defenses have been strengthened progressively by India, however the area continues to be geographically vulnerable. From Tibet, many feeder roads have been constructed by China to the Bhutan-Tibet border. A railway line is also being extended in the region, states a source.