July 05, 2017

Withdrawal of troops a “pre-condition” to India-China standoff resolution, says China to India

by Neha Monga

Commenting on the two week long military standoff between the two countries at Sikkim border, China ruled out any scope for compromise and said that the “ball was in India’s court” to end the tension.

Chinese Ambassador to India, Luo Zhaohui, in an interview to PTI said “The Chinese government is very clear that it wants peaceful resolution at current state of the situation for which withdrawal of Indian troops from the area is a “pre- condition,” Luo said. “The first priority is that the Indian troops unconditionally pull back to the Indian side of the boundary. That is the precondition for any meaningful dialogue between China and India.”

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When asked about official Chinese media’s and think tanks warning remarks that the conflict can lead to a “war” if not handled properly, the ambassador said “There has been talk about this option, that option. It is up to your government policy (whether to exercise military option).”

The stand-off started 19 days ago in the plateau known as Dokalam near the Bhutan-China-India tri-junction, after India opposed China’s attempt to construct a road on the plateau.

“The situation is grave and made me deeply worried. It is the first time that Indian troops have crossed the mutually recognized boundary and trespassed into China’s territory, triggering a close range face-off between Chinese and Indian border troops. Now 19 days have passed, but the situation still has not eased,” Luo said.

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However, India says that it intervened on behalf of Bhutan. Bhutan last week said that the road was being constructed inside their territory. China and Bhutan are engaged in talks over the resolution of the area. Bhutan however has no diplomatic ties with China and is supported militarily and diplomatically by India.

The ministry of external affairs commenting on the standoff had said that India was “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”. The ministry did not comment on the Chinese ambassador’s remarks on Tuesday.

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“As for the so-called ‘security concerns’ of the Indian side, India has crossed a delimited boundary into other country’s territory in the name of security concerns, no matter what kind of activities it conducts there, which will not be acceptable to any sovereign state,” Luo said.

 

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