In a press conference on Monday, Chinese defence ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said India should not “harbour any realistic illusions” about China’s ability to defend its territory, reported news agency Reuters. He urged India to take “practical steps” and meet China halfway in safeguarding the border. Qian’s comments come amid a standoff between Indian and Chinese armies in the Doklam area of Sikkim.
“India should not leave things to luck and not harbour any unrealistic illusions,” Qian was quoted as saying by Reuters. “We strongly urge India to take practical steps to correct its mistake, cease provocations, and meet China halfway in jointly safeguarding the border region’s peace and tranquillity,” he added. The impasse began after Indian troops stopped China from building a road in a disputed region along the 3,500 kilometre-long border.
Read: Simply put: Where things stand on the Dolam plateau. Click here.
Qian reiterated that withdrawal of Indian troops from the region was a precondition to hold talks between the neighbouring countries. Around 300 soldiers from either side are facing each other about 150 metres apart on the plateau, according to Indian officials.
“Shaking a mountain is easy but shaking the People’s Liberation Army is hard,” Qian said during the press briefing. He added that China’s ability to defend its territory and sovereignty has “constantly strengthened”.
Also read: Defuse border tensions through direct dialogue: Pentagon tells India, China. Click here.
Meanwhile, last week, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said if China unilaterally changes status-quo of the tri-junction point between China, India and Bhutan, then it will pose as a challenge to India’s security.
“Saare desh humare saath hain aur sabhi desh samjh rahe hain ki bharat ne jo apna mat rakha hai woh galat nahi hai (All countries are supporting us and they understand that India’s viewpoint on the issue is not incorrect),” she said, while speaking in the Rajya Sabha.
(With inputs from Reuters)