India, China 'preparing for armed conflict' over Doklam border dispute

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In the drill, security officials from both the sides hold banners before stepping back to their respective positions.

India's political environment makes it easier for politicians to confront China than improve ties with it. Modi has opted for confrontation with China, with the consideration that by challenging China, the Modi government can maintain India's influence and hegemony in South Asia, it said.

Another report suggests that the confrontation occurred after a Chinese patrol lost its way due to bad weather conditions, coming across Indian soldiers at Pangong Lake's northern bank near areas known as Finger Four and Finger Five, sources told India Today.

They are held on the national days of both countries.

China has repeatedly asked India to unilaterally withdraw from the Doklam area, or else face the prospect of an escalation. An army source in Srinagar also spoke of an altercation following what he called a Chinese army "incursion in Pangong lake area".

This is the first time since 2005, when the People's Liberation Army of China declined India's invitation to participate in ceremonial border meetings on the occasion of Independence Day.

It cited figures from the Indian embassy in China to show that Indian exports fell by 12.3 per cent year-on-year to $11.75 billion while India's imports from China rose by 2 per cent to $59 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $47 billion.

A Chinese defence expert had earlier told the Global Times that this move would be justified as it would be on the lines of the "same logic" that the Indian Army has been using to halt China's road construction project at the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet trijunction. "Invite was sent to PLA a few days ago, but they didn't respond". Yang flew down to Nepal from Pakistan where he was the chief guest at the official celebrations of the 70th Independence Day.

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