Its Patience With India ‘Won’t Be Indefinite’ China Tells Foreign Diplomats

With the border dispute at Sikkim extending beyond a month, China last week told foreign diplomats in Beijing that its "patience with India won't be indefinite". Sharing details of this, diplomat sources who asked not to be named said that India has been briefing foreign embassies in Delhi on the border stand-off upon their request. The Foreign Ministry has repeated at these briefings what it has said on record - that diplomatic contacts are also being used to help defuse the tension.

Though the government has told foreign diplomats there is no cause for alarm, sources admit that the confrontation at Sikkim is causing concern in capitals around the world.  

China's version of the dispute is that India has "illegally transgressed" the border at Sikkim to stop a road from being built on a plateau in what it calls the Donglang region. India agrees with Bhutan's claim that the land belongs not to China, but to the small Himalayan kingdom. Before the confrontation escalated, India had also warned China that the road in what Bhutan and India call Dokalam was  "a serious security concern" because it gives China access to the "Chicken's Neck" , a narrow wedge of land, 23 kms at its widest, which links the seven northeastern states to the rest of India.

 

Indian soldiers reportedly stopped the Chinese road's construction early in June. Beijing's rhetoric has been fierce and repeated, with warnings from government spokespersons and state-run media of "more serious consequences" for India and references to the 1962 war fought over Arunachal Pradesh which had punishing results for Delhi.

 

Amid the stand-off with India, Chinese President Xi Jinping met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany.  Beijing aggressively stated there was no bilateral or formal meeting; India pointed out none had been sought and that the informal talks covered "a range of issues".

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has not changed his plans to travel to China later this month for a meeting hosted by his counterpart of top security officers of the bloc of BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.  Mr Doval is expected to raise the Sikkim stand-off on his trip.

 

 

 

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