India has expressed concern over the road construction near the trijunction, fearing it may allow Chinese troops to cut its access to its northeastern states.
China has launched a high-stakes propaganda blitz, painting India as the aggressor and holding out the threat of a full-scale confrontation as the two countries face off on the Bhutanese Doklam plateau.
While none of the reports said that the transfer of equipment was to support military drills in Tibet, the PLA said that the hardware was moved late in June. A former United States diplomat also said that China must acknowledge that India is a force to reckon with, adding that China’s stand in the Indo-China border dispute in Sikkim has miffed quite a few neighbours.
Early this week, state-run CCTV had broadcast People’s Liberation Army troops taking part in heavy military exercises using live ammunition on the Tibetan plateau.The location was not far from the disputed Doklam area where Chinese and Indian troops are locked in a standoff+, the Hong-Kong based South China Morning Post reported.
Doklam, or Donglang as the Chinese call it, is located at the narrow but strategically important tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan.
The Doklam dispute is the latest in a long-running series of territorial flare-ups between India and China. In 1962, the two countries engaged in a bloody border war and skirmishes have continued to break out sporadically in the decades since.
“I’m not sure how this situation de-escalates, not just because of the media hype on both sides, but also because China may not have an interest in de-escalating,” said Yvonne Chiu, assistant professor at the Department of Politics at the University of Hong Kong.
“Military operations are all about logistics”.
The dispute, however, comes at a time of steadily deteriorating ties between the two countries, with Chinese investment in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, an increasing Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean, and Chinese frustration with India’s unwillingness to join its One Belt One Road development initiative as major points of contention. New Delhi says the road, if built, will have serious security implications for India.