In­dian troops ready for ‘ long haul’ stay

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By WANG QINGYUN wangqingyun@chi­

A diplo­matic solution to the standoff in China’s Dok­lam is not pos­si­ble if In­dian troops are prepar­ing for a long stay in the area, For­eign Min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing on Mon­day.

Ac­cord­ing to In­dian me­dia re­ports, the In­dian troops that il­le­gally en­tered Dok­lam are main­tain­ing “a line of sup­plies” and are ready to stay “for the long haul”.

“If the re­ports are true, then they only prove that In­dia’s il­le­gal tres­pass was or­ga­nized and pre­med­i­tated,” Geng said. “In­dia is de­lib­er­ately dis­rupt­ing the sta­tus quo of the Sikkim sec­tion of the China-In­dia bound­ary. How could there be a diplo­matic solution if In­dia is ready to stay for the ‘long haul’ in the bor­der area and does not in­tend to re­treat its troops?”

The spokesman re­peated that In­dia should with­draw its troops im­me­di­ately and that it “is the pre­req­ui­site and ba­sis for any mean­ing­ful and sub­stan­tive di­a­logue be­tween the two sides”.

Diplo­matic com­mu­ni­ca­tion is smooth be­tween the two coun­tries, but China hopes In­dia will “take ef­fec­tive mea­sures and make con­crete ef­forts” to re­solve the in­ci­dent, Geng added.

In late June, China protested that In­dian troops had crossed the Sikkim sec­tion of the China-In­dia bor­der into Dok­lam in an at­tempt to stop Chi­nese road con­struc­tion.

The Sikkim sec­tion was de­fined by the Con­ven­tion Be­tween Great Bri­tain and China Re­lat­ing to Sikkim and Ti­bet in 1890. China’s con­struc­tion in its own ter­ri­tory is “rea­son­able and law­ful”, Geng said.

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