In­dia’s rea­sons for tres­pass­ing slammed

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By MO JINGXI mo­jingxi@chi­ Contact the writ­ers at lu­owang­shu@ chi­

China crit­i­cized In­dia on Thurs­day for tres­pass­ing onto Chi­nese ter­ri­tory un­der the cloak of “pro­tect­ing Bhutan”, and ques­tioned In­dia’s so-called se­cu­rity con­cerns re­gard­ing the con­struc­tion of a road by China.

For­eign Min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang told re­porters at a daily news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing that China is will­ing to peace­fully solve the is­sue through diplo­matic chan­nels, but a pre­con­di­tion is the un­con­di­tional with­drawal of In­dian troops.

It has been 21 days since In­dian border troops crossed into the Sikkim sec­tion of the China-In­dia border, a de­mar­ca­tion that has been rec­og­nized by both coun­tries for decades.

“The tres­pass­ing of In­dian border troops took place at the de­fined Sikkim sec­tion of the China-In­dia bound­ary, which is dif­fer­ent in na­ture from the pre­vi­ous stand­offs be­tween the two sides at the un­de­fined sec­tions of the border,” Geng said. “The In­dian side crossed into Chi­nese ter­ri­tory and changed the sta­tus quo. Only when In­dia pulls back its troops, will the sta­tus quo be re­stored.”

The Dok­lam area has al­ways been part of China’s ter­ri­tory and un­der its ef­fec­tive ju­ris­dic­tion. China and Bhutan have held 24 rounds of bound­ary ne­go­ti­a­tions since they launched the talks in the 1980s. There is no dis­agree­ment be­tween the two sides on the fact that Dok­lam be­longs to China, though the bound­ary is not yet of­fi­cially de­mar­cated.

“The fact is that the In­dian side ‘jus­ti­fied’ its in­cur­sion un­der the cloak of ‘pro­tect­ing Bhutan’, and at­tempted to cre­ate a dis­pute in Dok­lam to pre­vent and con­tain border ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween China and Bhutan,” Geng said.

He said he also doubts In­dia’s so-called se­cu­rity con­cerns re­gard­ing China’s road con­struc­tion, say­ing “it is jus­ti­fi­able and rea­son­able be­hav­ior of a sov­er­eign state to build roads on its own ter­ri­tory”.

“It is the In­dian side that has built fa­cil­i­ties on the Sikkim sec­tion of the China-In­dia bound­ary, con­ducted mass troop de­ploy­ment and even built mil­i­tary fa­cil­i­ties on and across the border, chang­ing the sta­tus quo in the border area,” Geng said.

“We again urge In­dia to im­me­di­ately pull back its troops to the In­dian side to avoid a more se­ri­ous sit­u­a­tion and con­se­quences,” Geng added.

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