India, China should engage in dialogue to reduce tension

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Amid the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Sikkim sector, a top former USA diplomat has said that China needs to acknowledge that India is "a force to be reckoned with" and countries in the region are unsettled by Beijing's behaviour and unilateral actions.

China's state-run media, People's Daily Online today rejected as fake a Pakistani news report that claimed over 150 Indian soldiers were killed in Sikkim in a Chinese rocket attack. But China has risen quickly to be the world's No. 2 economy.

"Seventy-three road construction projects are underway along the Indo-China border, including stretches in Sikkim". A core element of the standoff lies in diverging interpretations of where the trijunction actually lies: Beijing says it lies 15 kilometers south of where Thimphu has marked the crossing. China aggressively declared there was no bilateral or formal one-on-one meeting.

The Chinese media for its part has stepped up the rhetoric.

The major reasons for the delay included limited working season combined with logistical issues due to high altitude, rugged and hard terrain, natural calamities, delay in forest/ wildlife clearances and land acquisition, Rijiju said.

The PLA Tibet command guards the Line of Actual Control (LAC) of the India-China border along several sections connecting the mountainous Tibetan region.

Various worldwide media inferred that the drill was aimed at simulating an attack against India following its border standoff in the Tibetan plateau last week. Twenty of the 31 members from different parties were present at the briefing.

"These are legitimate actions of a sovereign country", it said.

The standoff in Sikkim may, then, represent an assertion of Chinese dominance over India.

China has called for Indian troops to immediately withdraw from the area, while India has responded that it has no intention of doing so.

China has moved tens of thousands of tonnes of military vehicles and equipment into Tibet since it became locked in a border dispute with India, according to state media.

Quoting "top sources", NDTV reports that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones have spotted Chinese soldiers, around 3,000 men and light machinery, around a kilometer behind the human chain built by the Indian soldiers on the Sikkim border.