Amid Doklam Standoff, Chinese Soldiers Unlikely to Attend Ceremonial Border Meet on India’s Independence Day
New Delhi, Aug 15: Amid the ongoing standoff between Indian and Chinese troops on the Doklam plateau, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) may not attend the ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) for India’s Independence Day celebrations. The ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting is held along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh every year. This year, the PLA didn’t respond to India’s invitation for the August 15 ceremonial meeting at the BPM points.
India invited Chinese soldiers for a ceremonial meeting at the BPM points -Daulat Beg Oldi and Chushul in Ladakh, Bum La and Kibithu in Arunachal, and Nathu La in Sikkim. “There are seven-eight occasions in a year that the two armies hold the ceremonial meetings at the different BPM points, which include speeches, cultural performances, exchange of gifts and tea/snacks. But it’s unlikely to take place on Tuesday,” a source was quoted as saying by Times of India. (ALSO READ: US Praises India on Doklam, Says New Delhi Behaving Like Mature Power)
Indian troops had also not crossed over to the Chinese side for the 90th-anniversary celebrations of the PLA on August 1. The decades-old feud between India and China has a new addition: Doklam in the Sikkim section where both armies have been engaged in a standoff since mid-June. Doklam is disputed between China and Bhutan, whose ally India backs Bhutan in its claims over the region. At the tri-junction China, India, and Bhutan, Doklam is of strategic importance to all three.
While Beijing wants India to withdraw troops from Doklam, New Delhi is for a simultaneous pullback of both Indian and Chinese troops.