Published: Wed, August 02, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Pull back troops from Doklam with 'no strings attached': China to India

Pull back troops from Doklam with 'no strings attached': China to India

India has rubbished China's claim that the number of troops have been reduced at Doklam.

"India's intrusion into the Chinese territory under the pretext of Bhutan has not only violated China's territorial sovereignty but also challenged Bhutan's sovereignty and independence", India Today quotes from the statement.

The newspaper which has been heading the anti-Indian rhetoric since the beginning of the crisis in Doklam also claimed that the country is using the Chinese threat as an excuse to advance its interests in the region.

This show of strength is being projected by Beijing as a warning to India by China to back off from its objection to China constructing a road at the Doklam tri-junction.

However, the Chinese media on Tuesday said that India was making up an "imaginary threat" in a report in the state-run Global Times by Long Xingchun, a research fellow at The Charhar Institute and director of the Centre for Indian Studies at China West Normal University.

"In addition to the two bulldozers, the trespassing Indian border troops, reaching as many as over 400 people at one point, have put up three tents and advanced over 180 meters into the Chinese territory", it said.

Providing the historical context and its arguments based on the 1890 Agreement between United Kingdom and China, the Chinese statement alleges that Indian soldiers "have illegally crossed the China-India boundary in the Sikkim sector and entered the Chinese territory'". "The incident took place on the Chinese side of the delimited boundary".

Earlier, the India's External Affairs Ministry of India (MEA) reiterated that differences between India and China should not and would not be allowed to become disputes, and added that communication between the two governments have never ceased, nor have been broken.

They have told Reuters that both sides' diplomats have quietly engaged to try to ensure the stand-off does not escalate, and that India's ambassador to Beijing is leading the effort to find a way for both sides to back down from confrontation without losing face.

The document claimed that on June 18, 270 Indian troops entered over 100 meters into the Chinese territory to "obstruct the road building of the Chinese side, causing tension in the area".

The fact sheet said that no such attempt would be tolerated by any sovereign state.

The foreign ministry warned that "no country should ever underestimate the resolve of the Chinese government and people to defend China's territorial sovereignty".

It also dismissed India's contention that the road building at the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan had serious security implications for New Delhi. It added that the border area between China and Bhutan has always enjoyed peace and tranquility due to the joint efforts of both sides. It is extremely unusual for the embassy to issue such a statement when the Indian NSA Ajit Doval had travelled to Beijing last week and held discussions with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi.

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