Doklam standoff: India refutes Chinese claims

If China attacks India will respond with the same aggression- letter to Xi Jinping

China on Wednesday stated that India should immediately withdraw its forces from Chinese territory.

By late Wednesday evening, it seemed that the Chinese foreign ministry was trying to assuage hawkish sentiments at home by talking about reduction in Indian troops while addressing the global community with its theory that India is the real aggressor in the Doklam dispute.

"India is deeply concerned at the recent Chinese actions and has conveyed to the Chinese Government that such construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India..."

Addressing on the occasion, Chinese Foreign Ministry's Spokesperson Geng Shuang said Beijing is committed not only to defend its territorial sovereignty but also to safeguard the basic principles of worldwide law.

Indian and Chinese troops continue to be locked in a standoff in Doklam and both sides have moved additional troops, ammunition and military equipment to the area. It proposed direct talks with Bhutan on the issue. China also indicated that the two sides are in touch to resolve the dispute in the Sikkim sector of the border.

China and Bhutan both claim Doklam even as the two countries along with India do not agree where their borders meet.

China's Foreign Ministry provided details of the July 28 meeting between India's National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi. Since Bhutan has a treaty agreement with India, New Delhi supports Bhutan's claim.




However, New Delhi dismissed Beijing's claims saying that India has not reduced its troops in Doklam.

In the wake of Chinese Foreign Ministry statement which asked India to pull back troops from Doklam in Sikkim section "with no strings attached" to resolve the current standoff, India today maintained that peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas "is an important prerequisite for smooth development of our bilateral relations with China".

"On 18 June, over 270 Indian border troops, carrying weapons and driving two bulldozers, crossed the boundary in the Sikkim Sector at the Duo Ka La [Doka La] pass and advanced more than 100 meters into the Chinese territory to obstruct the road building of the Chinese side, causing tension in the area", the statement said.

Bhutan, a Himalayan nation that has no diplomatic ties with China, has also protested against the road construction by Chinese troops. The incident occurred in an area where there is a clear and delimited boundary. "China will take all necessary measures to safeguard its legitimate and lawful rights and interests", it warned. According to the document, China has no problem with Bhutan and the two sides are discussing the border issue and India does not have to worry about it.

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.

The paper also repeated Beijing's contention that the Indian move challenged the sovereignty of Bhutan, which is guided by India in foreign policy.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the paper was meant to "further explain to the worldwide community the truth about Indian army's intrusion, and fully state the position of the Chinese government".

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