Pakistan plans to build dams on Indus River

On Thursday V. K Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs said in a written reply in  Rajya Sabha, Pakistan has decided to construct water dams with on the Indus River with the help of China.

The Indian Government has issues demarches to both Beijing and Islamabad over the new construction. The demarche states that the construction is void and it will violate India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, as V.K Singh informed the Rajya Sabha

V.K Singh said, “”India has a clear and consistent position that these territories are illegally occupied by Pakistan and that any collaborative activity there is in violation of India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,”.

In addition, he also told, “accordingly, we have made demarches to both Pakistan and China conveying the position. The government will continue to maintain this position.”
However, Pakistan is abided to follow the Indus water Treaty signed with India. The treaty gives both the countries equal distribution of river water. Recently India has been engaged in border issues with China and on the other side, Pakistan has elected its new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Sources-

  1. ASIANAGE- http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/040817/pakistan-constructing-6-dams-on-indus-in-pok-with-chinas-help-government.html

2. TIMES OF INDIA- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pakistan-constructing-6-dams-in-pok-with-chinas-assistance-govt/articleshow/59910509.cms?from=mdr

Image Source-AFP

China blocks listing of JeM Chief Masood Azhar as terrorist, again

In yet another blow to India, China has again held back on the proposal to blacklist Pakistani terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed(JeM) Chief Masood Azhar as a designated terrorist. The proposal at the United Nations has been backed by the US, France and UK.

The proposal was first brought to the UN Security Council in January and blocked by China in February. The deadline for the country to take action on this technical hold was August 2, 2017. However, just hours before this deadline lapsed, Beijing once again sought a three-month extension until November 2, 2017. This is now the fourth time that it has blocked such moves by India and the Western nations. If the proposal was accepted and passed, Masood Azhar would by default have been considered a UN-designated terrorist.

India considers Azhar the mastermind of the January 2, 2016 terrorist attack on the Pathankot air force station and holds JeM responsible for a series of attacks, including the December 13, 2001, attack on the Parliament. In March 2016, China was the only member of the 15-nation UN Security Council to block the application moved by India to designate him as a terrorist and place him on the sanctions list. However, sources had claimed that the block would not prevent India from pursuing issues of terrorism or sanctioning of leaders of terror outfits at the world body.

Notably, the Chinese action comes in the midst of a tense military standoff between India and China at Dokalam in Bhutan.

 

Sources: NDTV, Livemint

China reiterates claim over Doklam in a 15-page document, asks Indian troops to leave

The stand-off between India and China over Doklam crisis has taken a new turn on Wednesday, despite diplomatic talks between National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi last week. The Chinese embassy in Delhi, in a very unusual instance, has issued a 15-page ‘non-paper,’ reiterating its claim over Dokhlam. A ‘non-paper’ is an informal statement used in diplomatic negotiations.

In the 15-page document, China cited a 2006 treaty between the two countries where both India and China agreed upon the boundary alignment mentioned in 1890 treaty between China And Great Britain.  It also contains two pictures marking the demarcations through lines and arrows.

There has been no statement by the Indian officials over the documents yet. Since June 30, India has released any statement over the Doklam issue. China claims that Indian soldiers have illegally crossed India-China border on June 18 and settled camps in its territory. India had countered Chinese troops from constructing road by sending 270 soldiers last month. In almost a month, the troop size has increased to nearly 400 and China has constantly countered India’s stance.

On June 30, Ministry of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj made a short statement in the Parliament, stating the world leaders support India over Doklam crisis, which later refuted by a Chinese media.

News Source: Hindustan Times, Indian Express

Image Source: NDTV

China has the confidence to defeat all invasions: Xi Jinping

“The Chinese people love peace. We will never seek aggression or expansion, but we have the confidence to defeat all invasions. We will never allow any people, organization or political party to split any part of Chinese territory out of the country at any time, in any form,” President Xi Jinping at the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the founding of People’s Liberation Army.

Speaking at the Great Hall of the People, Xi did not direct his message to any single country. However, with the standoff between India and China near the Sikkim sector, his comments become crucial.

The border clash ruptured over a disputed plateau which India calls Doklam and China recognizes as Donglang. The plateau, lying at a junction between China, Sikkim and Bhutan, is disputed between Beijing and Thimphu. India, being a close ally of the latter, deployed troops to obstruct China’s road project, which led to accusations on India for trespassing on Chinese soil. Officials say such transgressions are numerous, since both sides have varied perceptions of the Line of Actual Control.

Amidst the border face-off, there were no signs of strained ties at an event in New Delhi to mark the 90th anniversary of China’s army, which was attended by representatives from India, Bhutan and China.

Sources on both sides have suggested that talks are on to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff. Channels of communication are on as was seen by the participation of the Indian representative at the PLA event.

 

Sources: Reuters, NDTV

Australian foreign minister opposes Beijing’s activities in South China Sea

Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop is in New Delhi and amidst tense border situation near Doklam plateau in Sikkim, Bishop pricked another volatile international issue concerning water boundaries when she confirmed that Australia believes in free navigation for trade to prosper and her country does not support Beijing’s unlawful construction of artificial reefs and new military bases throughout the disputed region of the South China sea.

 “We continue to oppose the construction of artificial reefs and militarisation of those structures in the South China Sea,” the visiting minister said.

 She emphasized that it would be in the best interests of all parties concerned to engage in dialogue with Beijing, and one should also consider that while China should show more restrain, it will be unfair to impose any sanction which could hurt China’s economic interests.

 Bishop said that Australia continues to support India’s claim in the UN security council to reflect “contemporary realities” and also wished to strengthen the Indian Ocean Rim Association forum calling for a maritime exercise involving India, Australia and other Asia-Pacific countries.

 India and Australia have also signed a nuclear co-operation agreement where India can import Uranium from Australia to feed its ever-increasing energy requirements.

News Source: Hindustan Times, Skynews

Image Source: PTI

Chinese Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo dies of terminal illness

Prominent Chinese political prisoner, and one of the strongest dissidents of the communist single-party rule in China, Liu Xiaobo, died on July 13 in the hospital while being treated for terminal liver cancer.

A literary critic, human rights activist, and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate (2010), Liu Xiaobo was diagnosed with liver cancer on June 26, 2017, while serving his 11-year-term for his involvement in Charter 08, a pro-democracy manifesto that calls for the end of one-party rule in China. He died of multiple organ failure, according to an online announcement by the judicial bureau of City of Shenyang, reports Indian Express. 

Liu (61), while being the visiting scholar at Columbia University, was drawn to major pro-democracy protests happening in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989. It was after these protests that Liu was imprisoned for his pro-democratic cause for the first time.

In 2010, when Liu earned his Nobel for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”, Chinese government condemned the act of the Norwegian-based committee, calling it a political farce. After being imprisoned for four times, his final prison sentence of 11-years was for co-authoring “Charter 08”- a document published in 2008 calling for end of single-party rule, garnering 10,000 signatures worldwide.

He is the third person to have been awarded Nobel Peace Prize while in prison, after Germany’s Carl von Ossietzky (1935) and Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi (1991).

 

SOURCES:

INDIAN EXPRESS, THE GUARDIAN

IMAGE SOURCE: AFP

India sends further re-enforcements in Sikkim to keep Red Army at bay

Around 2500 soldiers are further deployed at the Doklam plateau region, from the peace time deployments in Sikkim to re-assert India’s proactive stance in the border dispute with China. China has responded by mobilizing troops in the Khamba Dzong and other areas near its Chumbi Valley, which is located at a tri-junction of Sikkim, Bhutan, and China.

Flag meetings between local command heads have now become irrelevant and the de-escalation must start from politico-diplomatic level. A source to TOI further added that “the working mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs, set up in January 2012, or talks between the two designated Special Representatives, is the only way to defuse the situation now.

Troops at the Line of Actual Control continue to be around 300-400, maintaining the “non-aggressive” line until further orders. But all Indian Army divisions along with infantry mountain units, each comprising of 10,000 soldiers are on “high operational readiness for any contingency”.

Doklam plateau continues to be strategically important for India, as it is in close proximity to the “Chicken Neck” area, which connects mainland India to the North-Eastern states.

Sources: Times of India, BuzzitUp