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India must withdraw troops from Doklam to end Sikkim stand-off: China

Beijing: Dismissing as “untenable” India’s assertion that Beijing’s construction of road in the disputed Doka La area poses “serious security implications”, China’s official news agency on Sunday asked New Delhi not to deviate consensus on developing bilateral relations.

Asking India to withdraw its troops from the area to end the current standoff, Xinhua news agency said, “It is well known that the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary has been demarcated by the 1890 Sino-British treaty”.

India has pushed in more troops in a “non-combative mode” to strengthen its position in an area near Sikkim, where its soldiers have been locked in a standoff with Chinese troops for almost a month now in what has been the longest such impasse between the two armies since 1962.

India brought in more troops after the destruction of two of its bunkers and “aggressive tactics” adopted by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), sources said. In a “non- combative mode”, the nozzle of a gun is placed

The Indian border troops’ attempt to stop the Chinese military from constructing the road in the Doklam area has “cast a shadow over China-India relations”, the commentary titled ‘Don’t deviate from the consensus on developing China-India relations’ said, reiterating China’s official stand on the issue.

While China has cited the Sino-British Treaty to buttress its claims, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi in a statement on Saturday said that “where the boundary in the Sikkim sector is concerned, India and China had reached an understanding also in 2012 reconfirming their mutual agreement on the ‘basis of the alignment'”.

Referring to the MEA statement, the commentary said “the Indian side has claimed that China’s activities pose a ‘serious security impact’ to India, and it is untenable”. So far China has not officially responded to India’s statement on this issue.

This is the second commentary by Xinhua on Sunday. The earlier commentary had asked India to shed its “strategic anxiety” over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and join the Belt and Road Initiative to become a cooperative partner and not a rival.

The CPEC is a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. India has been protesting against the CPEC as it traverses through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

On the Sikkim standoff, the Xinhua commentary claimed that China is engaged in normal activities on its own territory. “How can we influence others? In fact, it is the Indian side that has ignored international law and seriously interfered with China’s construction activities,” it said.

PTI