Updated: August 22, 2017 8:21:16 pm
China on Tuesday said the only way to end the Doklam standoff in Sikkim sector was for India to unconditionally withdraw its troops from the area. Beijing’s response comes a day after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed hope that China would soon make a “positive” move in this regard. Rajnath Singh had on Monday hoped that a solution to the Doklam standoff would be found soon and said India never attacked a nation nor did it harbour any expansionist behaviour. In a speech, he had also expressed hope that China will undertake a positive initiative to resolve the standoff. Also Read: Ladakh scuffle: The importance of Pangong Tso
China, however, kept up its propaganda onslaught on India by reiterating its accusation that Indian troops ‘illegally crossed the boundary’. Hua Chunying, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, called India’s reasons to stop Chinese road building in Doklam area as ‘ridiculous’. In a statement to the media, Hua said: “So the only prerequisite and condition of this incident is unconditional withdrawal of the Indian troops and equipment.” Also Read: Hopeful China will initiate dialogue soon, says Rajnath Singh
Hua also criticised India, saying New Delhi’s move at Doklam has a negative impact in the eyes of the Chinese people. India should match its words with deeds, Hua said while calling for unconditional withdrawal of Indian troops and equipment.
Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in a stand-off in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector for seven weeks now after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area. China claimed that they were constructing the road within their territory and has been demanding immediate pull-out of the Indian troops from the disputed Doklam plateau. New Delhi has expressed concern over the road building, apprehending that it may allow Chinese troops to cut India’s access to its northeastern states.
India has conveyed to the Chinese government that the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for it. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Doklam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.
Of the 3,488-km-long India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-km section falls in Sikkim. China also claims that Thimphu has no dispute with Beijing over Doklam.
Over the last two months, the Chinese media has vigorously protested the Indian resistance to its attempt to transform the character of the territory in Doklam. In August alone, some 125 articles have been written on the Indian “trespass”, “hijacking a small neighbour”, and a so-called Bhutanese acknowledgement to China that Doklam actually belongs to China.
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