NEW DELHI: Indian artillery guns have not been shifted to their emplacements near the site of the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the disputed Doklam Plateau, a part of Bhutan, which is located East of Sikkim.
- Clear indicator military escalation seems unlikely at the moment: Sources
- Sources describe present standoff as a 'no war, no peace' situation
- No signs of a significant Chinese military buildup in the region
According to sources, this is a clear indicator that a military escalation between the Chinese and Indian Army seems unlikely at the moment. Also, there are no signs of a significant Chinese military buildup in the region as both New Delhi and Beijing look to find a peaceful solution to the situation in Doklam, potentially the gravest crisis between the two countries since the 1962 war.
Sources have described the present standoff as being a "no war, no peace" situation and are keen to assert that the Indian Army has not rushed its Brigades to forward locations in support of Indian soldiers in the Doklam plateau.
These troops were moved into the area to prevent Chinese road construction in June in an area very close to the "Chicken's Neck", the vulnerable sliver of land that connects the Northeast with the rest of India.
Two Brigades, each with 4,000 men who are deployed close to the disputed area were not shifted there after the Doklam crisis began but were positioned as part of regular training exercises that sees the Indian army regularly move large formations in what has been a heavily militarised area for decades. The only extraordinary Indian movement in the area involves maintaining and replacing the 300 odd Indian soldiers deployed in the Doklam plateau.
Despite China making it clear that the Indian Army needs to withdraw first from the Doklam plateau for meaningful dialogue to take place, the Army is waiting to see whether Chinese Army officers and soldiers will travel to five designated Border Personnel Meeting Points on Independence Day on August 15 to greet their Indian counterparts, a tradition between the two forces. Nathu La in Sikkim is the closest such point to the stand-off area between the Indian and Chinese Armies.
New Delhi wants to discuss the stand-off diplomatically but China has demanded the Indian Army needs to withdraw first from the Doklam plateau for any meaningful dialogue to take place. In recent days, Chinese officials have again upped the ante.
After the Chinese People's Liberation Army last week cautioned that restraint has "its bottom line", a foreign ministry official in Beijing followed up the warning. What would New Delhi do, a top diplomat in Beijing said on Tuesday, if China "enters" Kalapani region in Uttarakhand or Kashmir.
In Parliament, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley underscored that the armed forces are strong enough to meet any challenge to the country's security and underlined that lessons have been learnt from the 1962 war with China.