After being given the cold shoulder by the US, and Bhutan refusing to compromise its alliance with India, China has gone to Nepal to seek support for its position on the standoff over the Doklam tri-junction near Sikkim.
According to a report in The Times of India, China's deputy chief of mission met his counterpart from Nepal in New Delhi in a courtesy call, during which China's stand on the issue was discussed. The move, as experts see it, is expeditious, since relations between India and Nepal, over the last few years, has been less than friendly.
Nepal also shares two tri-junction areas with India and China, one of which, the Lipulekh pass, has been the cause of bitter acrimony between Nepal and India, after the latter decided to use it as a Sino-Indian trade route in 2015.
Beijing continues to insist that for any meaningful dialogue about the crisis with New Delhi, India must first withdraw troops from Doklam, a demand that India has squarely rejected. The controversy began in mid-June when Indian troops stopped troops of China's People Liberation Army from constructing a road in the region. So far confined to being a war of words, the situation may escalate in the coming weeks.
Already Chinese experts warn of potential "small-scale operations" in Doklam plateau in about two weeks' time to drive away Indian presence. A policy expert, who is noted for his anti-India views, was quoted as saying in the State-run Global Times that China's response so far indicates that it will not tolerate India's presence in the disputed territory. However, New Delhi will be given sufficient notice before these strikes take place.
India, for its part, has steadfastly refused to acknowledge war with China as an option and, according to a report in The Indian Express, has decided to maintain this stand and work towards a diplomatic solution to the problem.
While the atmosphere in the region remains peaceful though tense, Indian troops are not favour of military action, The Hindu reported.
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