By Tenzin Monlam
Chinese and Indian border officials at Nathula Pass in Sikkim, file photo
DHARAMSHALA, July 3: China has canceled a trip of a group of Indian journalists to Tibet amid border disputes with India at the Doklam area in Sikkim sector.
The scribed-trip was scheduled from July 8-15 for the journalists who were to visit Tibet at the invitation of the Chinese government, but the decision of Chinese Embassy in New Delhi came in as a shock for them.
“I looked forward to visiting Tibet. But two days ago I was told by the Chinese embassy that the trip has been cancelled,” Vijay Naik, Convenor of the Indian Association of Foreign Affairs Correspondents, told IANS.
“Perhaps, it is because of the recent tension. They would have thought let things cool down first,” Naik added after the annual Chinese-sponsored trip was cancelled.
The standoff between India and China erupted after the Indian army blocked Chinese troops from constructing road in Doklam area in Bhutan which China claims as its territory in a new map it made public earlier today.
Bhutan accused China of violating their agreement by constructing the road. India too expressed its concerns over the development by saying that the action carried out by China represents a ‘significant change of status quo’, ‘a direct violation of a 2012 understanding’ and would lead to ‘serious security implications’.
The tiff has consequently led to the cancellation of the Kailash Mansarovar yatra through Nathu La pass in Sikkim. Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch (BTSM), an all-India Tibet Support Group, yesterday carried out a protest at Jantar Mantar in the Indian capital against the cancellation of Kailash pilgrimage.
Calling for ‘Freedom in Tibet’ and to ‘free Mount Kailash’, the protesters waving the national flags of Tibet and India also shouted slogans accusing China of encroaching into neighboring countries.
New Delhi on Friday called off the Kailash pilgrimage through Nathu La in Sikkim keeping in view of rising tensions between the two nations.