India removes border troops
China to continue exercising sovereignty in Doklam
China confirmed Monday that India has removed its trespassing troops from the Chinese territory of Doklam, and China will continue to exercise its sovereignty in the area.
“On the afternoon of August 28, the Indian side had pulled back all the trespassing personnel and equipment to the Indian side of the boundary and the Chinese personnel on the ground have verified this. China will continue exercising sovereignty and uphold territorial integrity in accordance with historical conventions,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference on Monday. Chinese border troops will remain stationed in Doklam and keep patrolling the area, she said.
One June 18, Indian troops illegally crossed the border and trespassed into Chinese territory in Doklam.
Hua said China has used multiple diplomatic channels to engage with India and also took effective military measures to safeguard its sover-
eignty and legitimate rights.
Wu Qian, a spokesperson at the Ministry of National Defense, said the Chinese military will be on high alert to defend national territorial sovereignty. Wu said India should draw some lessons from this incident and firmly adhere to the historical boundary and the basic principles of international law.
“India’s behavior was absolutely illegal and excuses, like Bhutan’s request and China’s road construction, that it used to legitimize its behavior have proven ineffective as well. That’s why it chose to withdraw at this moment, and it was the only option for India,” Ruan Zongze, executive vice president of the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Monday.
“The Chinese government highly values its friendly relations with India. We hope India can fulfill the historic agreement on the border and safeguard the stability of the border area with China,” Hua said.
In the past two months, China used a series of actions, including diplomatic engagement and military drills, to pressure India and eventually gained the result with India’s withdrawal. “Without tough signals and diplomatic efforts for peace from China, the standoff would not have ended like this. We are glad to see India correct its mistake before the upcoming BRICS summit and safeguard the stability of the region with us,” Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.
The People’s Liberation Army has conducted several military drills and training in plateau areas in Tibet after India’s trespass, participated by a heavy armor brigade, air force bombers and heavy artillery forces. The national broadcaster China Central Television reported on these drills and revealed videos of military actions in the past two months.
From August 3 to 4, six entities in China – the foreign ministry, defense ministry, Chinese embassy in India, the People’s Daily, the Xinhua News Agency and the PLA Daily made tough statements to warn India and reaffirm Chinese sovereignty in Doklam. The Chinese embassy in India issued two safety advisories to Chinese nationals in India on July 7 and August 24.
“After the end of the standoff, China can convince its people that based on its powerful national strength, China is capable of using diplomatic measures to solve border issues and safeguard its sovereignty,” said Chu Yin, an associate professor at the University of International Relations.
“The road construction within China’s territory is China’s legal right and exercise of sovereignty. To build or not to build a road is entirely up to China and it will not be affected by any foreign country. No one can force us to make any compromise on our sovereignty,” Ruan stressed.
The upcoming ninth BRICS Summit will be held in the coastal city of Xiamen, East China’s Fujian Province, from September 3-5, which heads of state of the five countries are expected to attend.
“We haven’t received any information that he (Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi) will not come [to the summit],” Zhang Yansheng, chief research fellow at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told a press conference on Monday.
“The current situation is positive for regional stability. China highly values ties with India but this is based on mutual respect of sovereignty. We hope India can learn lessons from this standoff,” Hua said.