'Chinese transgression in Uttarakhand to be sorted out locally'

Illustration by Tanmoy Chakraborty

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on July 27 discussed "major problems" in bilateral ties, the foreign ministry here said after the first high-level meeting between India and China since the military standoff erupted in the Sikkim sector on June 16.

The transgression took place on the morning of July 25 when a group of shepherds was asked to vacate the land by troops of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), according to media reports citing officials in the security establishment.

The crisis erupted after Indian and Bhutanese troops foiled an attempt by the Chinese Army to encroach on a disputed enclave. "Transgressions do occur due to differing perceptions of the Line of Actual Control (LAC)".

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China's state-backed media, Global Times has accused the Western Media of being biased in favour of new Delhi in the Doklam standoff just because India is a democratic country.

The event came on a day when Home Ministry sources said some 50 Chinese soldiers entered into Uttarakhand's Barahoti last week and spent about two hours before going back.

About 15-20 Chinese troops entered 1 km into Uttarakhand's Barahoti sector this month, officials said on Monday.

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Almost 30 Chinese soldiers entered the Barahoti area of Chamoli, Uttarakhand, and spent some time there unchallenged on July 24, 25 and 26 and 30, MHA sources confirmed. China has set withdrawal of troops by India as the precondition for any meaningful dialogue on the issue. In July 2016 a similar incursion was reported when some civil administration officials visited the Barahoti area and found four or five armed PLA soldiers there with a vehicle.

Tensions on the India-China border have escalated in recent weeks with both New Delhi and Beijing refusing to back down from their positions. The area is patrolled by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Army. Indian officials have pointed out that the Doklam issue was staged by China at the behest of Pakistan, China tends to cause a distraction by forcing incursions into Indian soil.

India, which fought a war with China in 1962 over a separate part of the disputed Himalayan border, supports Bhutan's claim.

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