Fears grow as China, India remain locked in bitter dispute over Doklam Plateau
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Fears grow as China, India remain locked in bitter dispute over Doklam Plateau

THE month-long standoff between China and India in a disputed border region near a three-way junction between Bhutan, Tibet and Sikkim is showing no sign of de-escalation.

The standoff in the Himalaya region is over China’s construction of a road in territory under its control near China and India’s common border which could have serious security implications.

Indian officials say about 300 soldiers from either side are at a face-off about 150 meters apart on the disputed Doklam Plateau.

Though both sides have held back so far, China’s defence ministry has warned India that it will defend its territory there if necessary.

“Shaking a mountain is easy but shaking the People’s Liberation Army is hard,” ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a briefing, adding that its ability to defend China’s territory and sovereignty had “constantly strengthened”.

SEE ALSO: India should not ‘harbour illusions’ in border stand-off, says China 

Both superpowers have had periods of tense relationships in the past, stemming from their competition for more influence in South Asia. Some observers are concerned of a repeat of the 1962 border war between them.

If standoff is not dealt with correctly and right, it could further deteriorate Sino-Indian ties. Diplomats have been in quiet talks to try and ensure tensions do not escalate as it could have major implications, such as affecting trade between the two or worst – have the standoff turn into an open conflict between the two nuclear-powered nations.

Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval will visit Beijing at the end of this week for a security forum under the BRICS group where he is expected to meet his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi to discuss the ongoing crisis.