Amid the ongoing standoff between the troops of India and China at Doklam in the Sikkim sector, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has said that Beijing is attempting to “change the status quo” on its border with India and predicted that incidents like the current impasse in Doklam are likely to ‘increase’ in the future, Indian media reported.
The army chief said that even if Beijing and New Delhi arrive at a resolution regarding the current standoff, “our troops on the border should not feel it cannot happen again”.
“My message to the troops is to not let down [their] guard,” TOI quoted the army chief as saying.
The current border tension was triggered by the construction of a road by China in the Doklam area. New Delhi has maintained that the road construction will threaten its national security.
The army chief said that India and China have been unable to arrive at a resolution regarding the tense ongoing standoff between their troops due to different ideas about how it should be carried out, adding that the matter should be “dealt with at diplomatic and political levels”, the media reported.
The Indian army chief noted that the capabilities of Chinese armed forces had progressed and Beijing’s influence in the region has been increasing as it developed economic and defence ties with neighbouring countries, such as Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
He maintained that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a violation of its sovereignty.
The border trouble began in June when Chinese soldiers started to extend a road through the Doklam territory — known as ‘Donglang’ in Chinese.
The tense standoff between India and China has only escalated since then, raising concerns in both capitals of an all-out military conflict. Both sides have made threats while simultaneously calling for negotiations.