Just months after India and China ended the military standoff in Doklam, the two giants are reportedly locked in an eyeball-to-eyeball standoff near Bishing in Arunachal Pradesh’s Upper Siang district, The New Indian Express has reported.
According to the daily’s report, the confrontation has been on for a week now. The standoff started when villagers informed a local policeman that they had spotted a Chinese road-building team with bulldozers in Indian territory, the report says. The police, in turn, informed the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Army.
“My friend was driving to a place which lies beyond Tuting. He was stopped by the Army, who said he cannot go further because a standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers is on. The locals there too had confirmed this to my friend,” the daily quoted an Arunachal-based lawyer-activist as saying.
“We do not want to escalate matters and make a Doklam out of it. So the government has asked us not to go public,” he added.
After the Chinese ignored ITBP’s request to return to their territory, the Indian Army sent a patrol to the faceoff site, where it continues to stay, the daily says.
Other reports, however, suggest that Chinese road-building team has left the scene and its equipment - which includes a bulldozer and a water bowser - has been seized by the Indian side. Negotiations for the return of the equipment are ongoing.
The faceoff site, the report says, is inside India territory, 4 km from the McMahon Line. China lays claim to almost the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh.
After it was forced to back off in Doklam, where its troops were trying to build a road in territory claimed by Bhutan, experts had suggested that China would open another front to put pressure on India.