De­fense Min­istry warns In­dia to with­draw troops

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By WANG QINGYUN and ZHANG ZHIHAO

In­dia should not take any chances and should aban­don il­lu­sions it may har­bor about the Chi­nese mil­i­tary’s abil­ity and de­ter­mi­na­tion to de­fend its ter­ri­tory, the De­fense Min­istry said in the lat­est re­sponse to In­dian troops tres­pass­ing in Dok­lam in Chi­nese ter­ri­tory.

The 90-year his­tory of the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army demon­strates the Army’s grow­ing abil­ity and its adamant de­ter­mi­na­tion, to safe­guard China’s sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity, De­fense Min­istry spokesman Wu Qian told a news con­fer­ence on Mon­day in Bei­jing.

“It is eas­ier to shake the moun­tains than to shake the PLA”, he said.

He asked In­dia to im­me­di­ately with­draw its troops to the In­dian side of the bor­der, say­ing it is a pre­con­di­tion and ba­sis for re­solv­ing the in­ci­dent.

“We strongly urge In­dia to take ef­fec­tive mea­sures to cor­rect its wrong­do­ing, stop prov- oca­tion and work with China to jointly safe­guard peace in the bor­der re­gions,” he said.

China, which will de­fend its ter­ri­tory, sovereignty and se­cu­rity in­ter­ests “at all costs”, has im­ple­mented emer­gency re­sponse mea­sures in the re­gion and will fur­ther en­hance tar­geted de­ploy­ment and train­ing, Wu said.

In an­other devel­op­ment, In­dian Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Ajit Do­val will be in Bei­jing to at­tend the sev­enth meet­ing of high-rank­ing se­cu­rity rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the BRICS na­tions — Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China and South Africa — which will be held on Thurs­day and Fri­day.

In a signed ar­ti­cle pub­lished in the South China Morn­ing Post, Sourabh Gupta, a se­nior fel­low at the In­sti­tute for China-Amer­ica Stud­ies in Washington, said the align­ment of the China-In­dia bound­ary in the Sikkim sec­tion is de­fined by Ar­ti­cle 1 of the Con­ven­tion Be­tween Great Bri­tain and China Re­lat­ing to Sikkim and Ti­bet in 1890.

“On nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, In­dian rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Prime Min­is­ter Jawa­har­lal Nehru down have for­mally ac­cepted this,” Gupta said of In­dia’s first prime min­is­ter. Gupta said that this time, In­dia has violated China’s ter­ri­to­rial sovereignty, and “must va­cate its tres­pass un­con­di­tion­ally” as a pre­con­di­tion for di­a­logue.

For­eign Min­istry spokesman

It is eas­ier to shake the moun­tains than to shake the PLA.” Wu Qian, De­fense Min­istry spokesman, ex­press­ing China’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to safe­guard ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity

Lu Kang said on Mon­day that China will never com­pro­mise on is­sues con­cern­ing its ter­ri­tory.

Lu was com­ment­ing on Aus­tralian For­eign Min­is­ter Julie Bishop’s re­marks that the stand­off be­tween China and In­dia in Dok­lam “is a long-term dis­pute” and that “ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes should be re­solved peace­fully”.

Bishop’s words don’t ap­ply to Dok­lam’s sit­u­a­tion “be­cause where the in­ci­dent hap­pened there is no ter­ri­to­rial dis­pute at all”, Lu said. “The Sikkim sec­tion of the China-In­dia bor­der is a de­fined sec­tion that has been mu­tu­ally ac­knowl­edged and ob­served for 127 years. Both sides have never had a dis­pute about this.

“China hopes to main­tain peace and sta­bil­ity of the China-In­dia bor­der re­gions, but will never make any con­ces­sions over is­sues of ter­ri­tory and sovereignty. In­dia is to­tally re­spon­si­ble for this in­ci­dent.”

In­dian troops il­le­gally crossed into the Sikkim sec­tion of the bor­der be­tween the two coun­tries into Dok­lam in June in an at­tempt to stop China’s road con­struc­tion there, which drew China’s protests.

Lan Jianxue, a re­searcher in South Asian stud­ies at the China In­sti­tute of In­ter- na­tional Stud­ies, said the De­fense Min­istry and the For­eign Min­istry sent warn­ings to In­dia in their Mon­day news con­fer­ences.

Lan said China can­not make com­pro­mises on its own ter­ri­tory, and In­dia’s wrong­do­ing will only “ex­haust” China’s strate­gic pa­tience.

He said In­dia must re­al­ize it has done wrong by cross­ing a de­fined bound­ary and with­draw its troops in order to ease the sit­u­a­tion.

ZOU HONG / CHINA DAILY

Ma­jor Gen­eral Zhou Shang­ping (left), Se­nior Colonel Lu Yu and Se­nior Colonel Zhang Cheng­wen of the PLA Army pre­pare to brief re­porters on Mon­day.

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