China says Kailash Mansarovar Yatra suspended because of border standoff

Beijing has demanded the withdrawal of Indian troops have crossed the Sikkim section of the China-India border. China confirmed on Monday that its decision to suspend the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through Nathu La is based on the dead-end border, Xinhua reported. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang demanded that India removes its border guards, which Beijing accuses Sikkim of crossing the border section between China and India.

The Chinese army Monday accused the Indian army of causing tension in the real control line by halting the construction of a highway in what claims to be China’s “sovereign territory” in the Sikkim region along the border between India and China.

Beijing has said that Indian troops had “obstructed the normal activities of the Chinese border forces in the Donglang region recently, and the Chinese side has taken counter-measures”.

“China is dedicated to the development of bilateral relations and firmly uphold its legitimate rights,” Beijing said. “China expects India to be half way, will do nothing to complicate border issues and jointly maintain the good momentum of relations.”

However, India has stated that a fight broke out between Indian Army personnel and the People’s Liberation Army during the first week of June, near the Lalten post in a region from Sikkim to La Doka, authorities in New Delhi. PLA soldiers have damaged more than two exchange bunkers on the Indian side.

Indian authorities said the clash could not be deactivated even after a meeting between the flag of the military high command on both sides. “There was a stampede and a struggle between rival troops. Our soldiers formed a human fence to deny the PLA troops to make further incursions,” said an official of The Times of India.

Similar clashes occurred in this area of Sikkim for 10 days. In November 2008, Chinese forces had destroyed the bunkers of the improvised Indian army in one place.

The Mansarovar Yatra, which was reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sushma Swaraj June 11 was suspended on June 23 after China has responded to about 50 Indian pilgrims who would be allowed to enter it when weather and road conditions would improve. The pilgrims, who had to go to Tibet for the Nathu La Pass in Sikkim, had to return to Gangtok.

This year, seven batches of 50 pilgrims crossed each Tibet through Nathu La and 18 batches of 60 pilgrims were scheduled to meet Kailash through Lipu Lekh’s neck in Uttarakhand, Hindustan Times reported. The Nathu La route was inaugurated in June 2015. Managed by the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region by China, hiking time is reduced.