Sikkim standoff: China issues safety advisory for its citizens in India

India, China have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for past three weeks

Beijing: The Chinese embassy in Delhi has issued a safety advisory for its people to pay attention to their safety and avoid unnecessary travel within the country. The advisory holds great importance especially amid the continuing stand-off between India and China at the border near Sikkim.

Media reports said that the advisory is valid for a month. “They (Chinese nationals) have been asked to contact local police or the Chinese Embassy in Delhi,” a Chinese official in Beijing said.

This is not a travel advisory but it asks Chinese nationals in India to pay attention to the local security situation, added reports. It also asks them to carry personal identification and keep their family, colleagues and friends posted about their movements. No reasons have been cited for the advisory but it is believed to have been issued to advice citizens to avoid being hit by anti-China sentiment.

Beijing had earlier this week said a travel alert to its citizens visiting India would be issued depending on the security situation. “The Chinese government attaches great importance to the safety and lawful rights of Chinese citizens,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.

China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan trijunction for three weeks after a Chinese army’s construction party came to build a road. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.

Since the stand-off began last month, China has issued a series of warnings to India asking it withdraw its troops from Doklam, an area near Sikkim that Beijing claims as its own.

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