In­dia vi­o­lates 1890 agree­ment in bor­der stand-off, China says

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

BEI­JING, China:

said yes­ter­day that In­dia was vi­o­lat­ing an 1890 bor­der agree­ment be­tween Bri­tain and China that pre­vi­ous In­dian gov­ern­ments have pledged to up­hold, and it should be re­spected to end a “very se­ri­ous” in­cur­sion by In­dia. The bor­der stand-off on a plateau next to the moun­tain­ous In­dian state of Sikkim, which bor­ders China, has ratch­eted up ten­sion be­tween the neigh­bor­ing gi­ants, who share a 3,500 km (2,175 miles) fron­tier, large parts of which are dis­puted.

Ac­cord­ing to the Chi­nese in­ter­pre­ta­tion of events, In­dian guards crossed into China’s Donglang re­gion early in June and ob­structed work on a road on the plateau. Troops from the two sides then con­fronted each other close to a strate­gic val­ley con­trolled by China that sep­a­rates In­dia from Bhutan - a close In­dian ally - and gives China ac­cess to the so­called Chicken’s Neck, a thin strip of land that con­nects In­dia to its re­mote north­east­ern re­gions. Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news brief­ing that the Sikkim part of the bor­der had been set­tled in the 1890 agree­ment, and pre­vi­ous In­dian gov­ern­ments had many times af­firmed that in writ­ing.

“Pacts must be re­spected - this is a ba­sic prin­ci­ple of in­ter­na­tional law,” Geng said. In­dian troops cross­ing onto the Chi­nese side were a vi­o­la­tion of this his­tor­i­cal agree­ment and the United Na­tions charter, he added. “The na­ture of this is very se­ri­ous,” Geng said, re­it­er­at­ing a de­mand for In­dia to with­draw its troops to its side. In­dia’s Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs re­ferred to a state­ment it made on Fri­day, when it warned China that con­struc­tion of the road near their com­mon bor­der would have se­ri­ous se­cu­rity im­pli­ca­tions.

An­a­lysts in New Delhi said that In­dia had in­ter­vened on be­half of Bhutan. As the tiny Hi­malayan King­dom was not party to the 1890 agree­ment be­tween Bri­tain and China, the dis­pute was be­tween China and Bhutan over where their com­mon bor­der lies. Bhutan said last week that the road was be­ing built in­side its ter­ri­tory. Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi are at­tend­ing a sum­mit of the G20 group of na­tions in the Ger­man city of Ham­burg later this week. Geng would not be drawn on whether the two could meet there, say­ing bi­lat­eral meet­ings for Xi at the sum­mit were be­ing ar­ranged. —Reuters

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