By Benjamin Brown, ,
Published September 26, 2017
India has deployed more troops along its eastern border with China as tensions continue to rise between the two countries over the long-disputed region of Doklam.
But despite India’s “heightened military alert” in the area, sources told Reuters they did not expect a conflict to spark between the roughly 300 troops on either side.
“The troop level along the border with China in the Sikkim and Arunachal sectors has been increased,” and the “caution level” has been raised, sources told the Press Trust of India.
The standoff began in June following China’s construction of a road in the region. Doklam is claimed by both China and India’s ally, Bhutan.
China has also amassed troops, tanks and artillery in the Tibet Military District, the Times of India reported.
India sent troops as a show of force, angering China, which claimed India had no right to interfere and demanded a withdrawal.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi argued China’s move posed a threat to national security.
Diplomatic efforts failed, Reuters reported.
China’s government-controlled Global Times warned of counter-measures if India did not comply with Beijing’s demands.
But India doesn’t appear to be backing down from a potential conflict. Defense Minister Arun Jaitley said the 1962 war between the nations has India “fully prepared” for another skirmish.
“I am fully confident that our brave soldiers have the capability to keep our community secure, be it the challenge on the eastern border or the western border. … They are ready to make any sacrifice for the security of the nation,” Jaitley said.
The China-India relationship has deteriorated in recent years, prompted by China’s support of Pakistan and increased presence in smaller South Asian nations, and India’s public embrace of the Dali Lama and improved relations with the United States.