What will happen next, I have no idea. But this is serious. India is sending tropps there as well. We are not afraid of the dragon.
Eye on China, troops relocating to Bengal
SUJAN DUTTADec. 12:
The Indian Army is relocating a division of troops to North Bengal from Jammu after the security establishment has taken stock of a Chinese move into a high plateau in Bhutan named Dolam.
Major elements of the 27 Mountain Division have already moved out and among these are units of the 164 Mountain Brigade based in Kalimpong, an army headquarters source has confirmed to The Telegraph.
A Chinese move into Dolam means that India’s border with China gets distorted at Sikkim’s tri-point with Bhutan. It also means that Chinese forces move a few kilometres south from where they originally were. It brings them closer to North Bengal’s Siliguri Corridor. China has always laid claim to Dolam. There is a suspicion that it has now extended its claim line.
But the Indian Army does not want to ring alarm bells. This is the season of confidence-building measures with China. Defence minister A.K. Antony posed for happy pictures with Chinese soldiers in Nathu-la on December 2, minutes before he took off from the Sherathang helipad for an aerial survey of the area that is disputed.
The move to relocate the 27 Mountain Division to Kalimpong is also based on an assessment of lowered threat perceptions along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
At least three flag meetings between Chinese and Indian Army officers have taken place in Nathu-la since August this year.
In the last flag meeting on November 27, days before Antony visited Sikkim, the Indian side showed pictures and video footage of perceived transgressions to the Chinese. The visuals were also shown to the defence minister during an operational briefing in Nathu-la.
The decision to relocate the 27 Mountain Division was taken following consultations involving the Eastern Command, the Northern Command and briefings for Antony, national security adviser M.K. Narayanan and army chief General Deepak Kapoor.
Antony was taken on a helicopter survey of the frontage of the border with China in Sikkim. Indian troops manning posts along the ridgeline that defines the border were asked to light smoke-emitting candles from their bunkers for the defence minister to be able to distinguish the positions during his visit to Nathu-la.
Antony was given a detailed appreciation on the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction (bordering Sikkim). It was pointed out to him that the Dolam Plateau in Bhutan lay immediately east of the tri-junction. A stream called the Torsa Nullah flows west to east across it.
On the east the Dolam Plateau is skirted by the Amo Chhu stream that flows north-south from the Chumbi Valley to Bhutan and then enters Bengal at Jaldhaka where the state government has a hydel project.
The tri-junction was identified as roughly equidistant from the two Indian posts at Dokala (bordering Bhutan) and Batang La (bordering China). Dokala overlooks Dolam which is at a lower altitude.
The relocation of troops comes ahead of an Indian Army contingent’s visit to Kunming in China for a first joint drill next week. The Prime Minister is scheduled to visit China in January.
The army emphasises that the movement of the division is a defensive measure. The 27 Mountain Division is moving to its original base, about seven years after it was deployed under the Northern Command.
But the army’s Eastern Command is disconcerted that the Dolam Valley — a largely-barren 20sqkm plateau that an officer in the capital described as “less than the size of Lutyen’s Delhi” — has become the venue of frequent Chinese patrols.
The valley is in Bhutan. The army wonders why Bhutan is not making an issue of the Chinese presence that may have been incrementally scaled up from frequent patrolling to frequent camping.http://www.telegraphindia.com/1071213/asp/frontpage/story_8663893.asp