Draw Lessons to Avoid Another Doklam: China’s PLA to India

Responding to Gen Rawat’s comments, the spokesman of Chinese Ministry of Defence addressed a media briefing.

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The Doklam Standoff between India and China ended on 28 August.  
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The Chinese military today criticised Army Chief General Bipin Rawat's recent remarks that Doklam is a disputed territory, asserting that it is very much part of China, and India should draw lessons from the 73-day standoff to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Reacting for the first time to Gen Rawat's comments, Colonel Wu Qian, spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Defence, told a media briefing that Doklam is part of China.

Gen Rawat earlier this month said that India needs to shift focus from its border with Pakistan to the one with China and spoke of pressure being exerted by Beijing along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China has occupied the area in the west of Torsa nullah called northern Doklam. At the actual spot, the two sides have disengaged. The tents remain. The observation posts remain. This is a territory disputed between Bhutan and China.
General Bipin Rawat, on the eve of the Army Day

Wu said: "The remarks of the Indian side also shows that the illegal crossing of the Indian border troops is clear in fact and nature".

"Donglong (Doklam) is part of China," Wu said, while responding to the recent remarks of Gen Rawat that Doklam is a disputed territory between China and Bhutan.

Wu said the Indian side should draw lessons from the incident to avoid similar situations in the future.

Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a tense 73-day-long standoff in Doklam from 16 June after the Indian side stopped construction of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. Bhutan and China have a dispute over the territory.

The face-off had ended on 28 August.

Referring to Gen Rawat's remarks that India should take the neighbouring countries along with it, Wu said: "I want to emphasis that the country should be treated equally regardless of its size.”

The concept sphere of influence is demonstration of Cold War mentality. The Chinese side (is) always opposed to it.
Colonel Wu

Rawat had said that countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have to be kept on board as part of a broader strategy to deal with China, and India must make "wholehearted" efforts to continue extending support to them.

Wu also denied reports that China plans to establish a military base or counter terrorism base in Afghanistan.

"The report on China building a military base in Afghanistan is totally groundless," he added.

(Published in an arrangement with PTI)

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