India Rejects China’s Claims, Says 400 Troops at Dokalam
China had claimed that India has scaled down number of soldiers deployed to about 40 at Dokalam, where armed forces of the two sides are locked in a face-off for the past two months
New Delhi: India, contrary to Chinese claims, on Wednesday denied that there has been any reduction in Indian troops in Dokalam plateau, where armed forces of the two sides are locked in a face-off over the past two months. The Indian government has emphasised that information provided by China is incorrect and that 350 to 400 soldiers still remain deployed in the area from either side. The Chinese government — which insists that India must withdraw its troops before a dialogue can be initiated to end the standoff — has claimed that there has been a scale-down in the number of Indian troops.
In a 15-page document, the Chinese foreign ministry on Wednesday claimed that there are approximately 40 Indian soldiers facing off against the Chinese army in Dokalam, down from 400 that had been in the area at one point.
“On 16 June 2017, the Chinese side was building a road in the Dong Lang (Dokalam) area. On 18 June, over 270 Indian border troops, carrying weapons and driving two bulldozers, crossed the boundary in the Sikkim Sector at the Duo Ka La (Doka La) pass and advanced more than100 metres into the Chinese territory to obstruct the road building of the Chinese side, causing tension in the area. In addition to the two bulldozers, the trespassing Indian border troops, reaching as many as over 400 people at one point, have put up three tents and advanced over 180 met- res into the Chinese territory. As of the end of July, there were still over 40 Indian border troops and one bulldozer illegally staying in the Chinese territory,” claimed the document.
However, persons familiar with the situation informed that India has not reduced the number of its troops. “India considers that peace and tranquillity in the IndiaChina border areas is an important prerequisite for smooth development of our bilateral relations with China,” according to MEA spokesperson.