The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) deployed additional troops near Lipulek Pass, which was at the centre of the territorial dispute between Nepal and India, and is also close to the border of the communist country with its two South Asian neighbours.
After Beijing spurred Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s Kathmandu government to clash India-Nepal dispute over the Lipulek Pass and the surrounding areas, the PLA’s move to deploy additional troops near the three-nation border point is apparently aimed at sending a message to New Delhi.
It came even as the three-month-long military stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the de facto boundary between India and China. It has yet not been completely resolved, with the mutually agreed process of withdrawal of troops from the face-off scenes being stalled due to the reluctance of the PLA to vacate the areas its soldiers occupied over the past few weeks on the northern bank of the Pangong Tso (lake) in eastern Ladakh.
In response to the build-up by the Chinese PLA, the Indian Army had moved its troops in ‘adequate numbers’ to strengthen its posts closer to the Lipulek Pass, DH source reported.
The source reported that the Indian Army had also taken ‘correct steps’ in view of the build-up of the Chinese PLA in the middle sector and the eastern sector of the disputed boundary between the two nations, adjacent to Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh of India.
Post the dispute at the borders of Uttarakhand, New Delhi suspects that Beijing had a role in nudging Kathmandu to ratchet up Nepal-India territorial dispute, at a time when the Chinese PLA’s transgression across the LAC in the western sector and the Indian Army’s response to it already drew international attention to the communist country’s expansionist moves.
The Oli government went ahead and released a new map showing almost 400 square kilometres of India’s Kalapani, Lipulekh Pass and Limpiyadhura regions as part of Nepal. The Nepalese Parliament has also been asked to amend the Constitution of the country in order to approve the new map.
Kathmandu now decided to send its new map to the United Nations, seeking international recognition. The Oli government is also planning to send it to Google, asking that the Google Map should now depict new inclusions Lipulekh Pass and the adjoining areas as part of Nepal.
‘We are soon delivering the revised map incorporating Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura to the international community,’ Nepal’s Minister for Land Management, Padma Aryal, was quoted by MyRepublica, a news portal of the neighbouring country.
Nepal also over the past few weeks deployed its armed police personnel in four new border outposts it set up along its boundary with India.