Doklam stand-off: China rejects reports of 'compromise'; Indian Army says no evacuation at border

August 11 2017

Though India and China continue to militarily reinforce their positions in the wake of an ongoing stand-off over Doklam region, IndianArmy has denied ordering the evacuation of some villages near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction.

Some news channels quoted government sources as saying that there hasbeen "some build-up" in terms of movement of additional troops and tanks as well as artillery and air defence units in the Tibet Military District by the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

However, the sources also claimed that there is "no major mobilization" towards the Line of Actual Control as yet.

Meanwhile, China has also vehemently rejected reports of it offering a compromise to India by relocating its troops in the disputed Doklam border area.

Reacting to a report that China had allegedly offered to move its troops back 100 meters after India sought the withdrawal of its troops by 250 metres, its Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said, ''Beijing will not trade its territorial sovereignty under any circumstances."

"China's position on solving this incident is clear and firm. India must immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its trespassing troopsand equipment back to the Indian side of the border," the office said in a statement.

China could never accept India's "totally unreasonable" demand, said Zhao Xiaozhuo, a researcher at the PLA Academy of Military Science, adding that India had honoured the convention until Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration refused.

Earlier this month, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that India's 'intrusion' had not only violated China's territorial sovereignty but also challenged Bhutan's sovereignty and independence.

However, the Government of Bhutan on August 10 pointedly refuted a Chinese Foreign Ministry claim that Bhutan had conveyed through diplomatic channels to China that the trilateral border stand-off area in Doklam in the Sikkim sector is not its territory.

Official sources in the Bhutanese Government said, "Our position on the border issue of Doklam is very clear. Please refer to our statement which has been published on the web site of Bhutan's Foreign Ministry onJune 29, 2017."

India has also cited the Bhutanese Foreign Ministry as emphasizing that "the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the 1988 and 1998 agreements between Bhutan and China and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between these two countries." 

India has conveyed to China that the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for New Delhi.

India has said both sides should first pull back their troops for anytalks to take place. Bhutan has no direct diplomatic relations with China and maintains contacts with Beijing through its diplomatic missionin New Delhi.

Bhutan and China have held 24 rounds of talks to resolve boundary dispute, while India and China have completed 19 rounds of talks.

The stand-off started in June when Chinese soldiers tried to unilaterally change the status quo in the strategically important Doklamregion of Bhutan by building a road in the area.

India has made its stance clear that that it stands for peace and the border question can be solved diplomatically, not by war.

Doklam stand-off: China rejects reports of 'compromise'; Indian Army says no evacuation at border