India, China deploy 3,000 soldiers each as border standoff intensifies

The prevailing face-off between the Indian and Chinese soldiers along the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet border regions has boiled into a highly tense situation.

Both India and China are reported to be actively deploying reinforcements at the border to thwart each other’s aggression.

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday checked out the ground situation at the 17 Mountain Division’s headquarters at Gangtok in Sikkim and 27 Mountain Division at Kalimpong in West Bengal.

According to a report in Times of India, both the countries have fortified their presence in the tri-junction by positioning about 3,000 soldiers each. Soldiers on either side are in a near eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation.

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat photo

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat

Although there had been quite some standoffs between the Indian and Chinese troops, the most recent one at the Doka La region in Sikkim goes down as the most tense with reports suggesting that the Chinese had even destroyed a couple of Indian bunkers.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat during his visit specially focused on the deployments of the 17 Division, which looks after the defence of eastern Sikkim region using four brigades of over 3,000 troops each under its control.

India which remains unfazed by the ongoing intimidation from Beijing has made it clear that it would not let China to build a road on the disputed Doklam Plateau, a Bhutanese territory. The planned road by the Chinese would lead to the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction and can potentially cut off the northeast from rest of India making it a hugely strategic area for both India and China.

If China can successfully build the road on the Doklam Plateau, then it could even threaten the narrow Siliguri Corridor in West Bengal which is popularly referred as “Chicken’s Neck” which is the only land connection between the north-east states and rest of India.

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