Peace, Tranquility Along Indo-China Border Crucial: MEA on Doklam
China has said that India must take “concrete actions” by immediately pulling back troops from Doklam.
Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Gopal Baglay on Wednesday responded to a 15-page statement issued by China accusing India of “concocting” excuses over the “illegal” entry of troops on the disputed Doklam territory, saying:
India considers that peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas is an important pre-requisite for smooth development of our bilateral relations with China.
The stand-off on a plateau next to the mountainous Indian state of Sikkim, which borders China, has ratcheted up tension between the neighbours, who share a 3,500-km (2,175-mile) frontier, large parts of which are disputed.
China on Wednesday conveyed its firm stand to India that it must take “concrete actions” by immediately pulling back troops from Doklam in the Sikkim section with “no strings attached” to resolve the current standoff.
Early in June, according to the Chinese interpretation of events, Indian guards crossed into Donklam region and obstructed work on a road on the plateau.
The two sides' troops then confronted each other close to a valley controlled by China that separates India from its close ally, Bhutan, and gives China access to the so-called Chicken's Neck, a thin strip of land connecting India and its remote northeastern regions.
India has said it warned China the road construction would have serious security implications.
In a statement, China's Foreign Ministry said the Indian military was still in Chinese territory, and that China had acted with a great deal of restraint, demanding that India withdraw its forces.
But the Indian side not only has not taken any actual steps to correct its mistake, it has concocted all sorts of reasons that don’t have a leg to stand on, to make up excuses for the Indian military’s illegal crossing of the border.
The ministry reiterated that the border had been agreed in 1890 by the governments of China and Britain, India's colonial ruler until 1947, and later with the Indian government.
India's actions are not only a serious encroachment of Chinese territory, but a challenge to regional peace and stability and normal international order, it added.
In a separate, much longer statement, China's Foreign Ministry said at one point there were more than 400 Indians on Chinese territory, who had advanced over 180 metres into China.
As of late July, there were still over 40 Indian border troops and one bulldozer on Chinese territory, it added.
“Since the incident broke out, India has invented various excuses to justify its illegal action, but its arguments have no factual or legal grounds at all and are simply untenable,” the ministry said.
(With inputs from Reuters and ANI.)
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