Beijing demands New Delhi remove encroaching troops

By ZHANG YUNBI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-28 05:43

Guards crossed over uncontested border, obstructed construction

China has lodged protests in Beijing and in New Delhi against the encroachment of Indian border troops into Chinese territory, and it demands that India take the proper course of action and withdraw the troops, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Tuesday.

Beijing is sincere in its pursuit of developing friendly China-India ties, but also unswerving in its determination to uphold its sovereign rights and interests, Lu said at a daily news conference in Beijing.

Observers said that India should refrain from further military action and ease the tension at an early date to avoid sabotaging the hard-won stability at the border.

The Ministry of National Defense confirmed on Monday night that Indian border guards recently encroached on Chinese territory in the Sikkim section of the border and obstructed ongoing Chinese road construction in the Donglang area.

China has taken countermeasures accordingly, and Beijing has asked New Delhi to thoroughly investigate this matter, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday night.

Geng noted that the Sikkim section has been defined by a treaty and the Indian government has repeatedly honored the treaty in writing as it does not contest the section of the border.

China urges India to respect boundary treaties and China's territorial sovereignty to maintain peace and stability in the border area, Geng said. Jiang Jingkui, director of the Center for South Asia Studies at Peking University, said India is expected to take action to remedy the situation.

"Neither side, particularly India, should lead this into an armed conflict. The two emerging economies need each other for their domestic development," Jiang said.

China and India had good high-level interaction this year when President Xi Jinping met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Kazakh capital Astana earlier this month, and India has just joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

As Modi will come to China to attend the BRICS Leaders' Meeting in September, New Delhi should manage bilateral differences in an effective manner, as Modi has pledged to do, Jiang said.

In another development, China has put off arranging for Indian pilgrims to enter China at the Nathu La Pass "in view of the incident" and "out of safety concerns", Lu said.

China has informed India through diplomatic channels, he said.

In the past, China has made great efforts to accommodate official Indian pilgrims' trips to China's Tibet autonomous region, Lu said.

India must take the necessary measures to ease the safety concerns triggered by the current situation, Lu added.

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