China, on Saturday, said that there is “no room” for negotiations to resolve the military face-off and that the only solution is the withdrawal of Indian troops from the Donglang or Doklam region.
For over five weeks, the two countries (China and India) have been involved in a stand-off along a part of their 3,500 kilometres shared border. Since both the countries are populous and have very robust economies, and have fought a war over border disputes in 1962, the stand-off has attracted global media attention.
Both India and China have rushed more troops to the border as the divide between the two neighbouring countries is turning out to be one of the longest since the India-China war of 1962.
India will face “embarrassment” if it does not withdraw its border troops to its own side and the situation could get “worse”, the official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary.
Xinhua is an organ of the Chinese government and is affiliated to the State Council, the Communist country’s cabinet.
Adding that there would be no negotiations on this, China asked India to withdraw its troops who are allegedly crossing the border in the Donglang/Doklam region.
“China has made it clear that there is no room for negotiations on this incident, and India must withdraw its border-crossing troops from Doklam. For China, the border line is the bottom line,” the commentary said.
Calling Ladakh a disputed region between China, Pakistan and India, the statement took a rather stern tone, and further said that this stand-off will be unlike any other standoffs (2013, 2014) if the troops are not withdrawn.
“India should not regard the existing situation as the same as or even similar to the previous two standoffs in 2013 and 2014 near Ladakh, a disputed area between China, Pakistan and India in southeastern Kashmir. Diplomatic efforts led the troop’s frictions there to a well-arranged end. But this time it is a totally different case,” it added.
This is the first time that China has clearly mentioned that there will no room for negotiations to resolve the weeks-long impasse in Donglang, which is under China’s control but claimed by Bhutan.
“India has repeatedly ignored China’s call for pulling its border-crossing troops from Doklam area back to its own territory. However, turning a deaf ear to China will but worsen the month-long standoff and put itself further into embarrassment,” the commentary further said.
It added that India had “lied” to the world by saying it dispatched troops to Donglang to help its ally Bhutan, whereas “apparently” Thimphu had extended no invitation to New Delhi to intervene.
“New Delhi claimed encroachment of its own territory by China before saying it sent troops to ’protect’ its ‘ally’ Bhutan, a sovereign state which has apparently so far made no such an invitation for the sake of that boundary area,” it said.
“As an old Chinese saying goes, peace is most precious. It has been noticed that Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar recently has made positive remarks in Singapore, saying that ‘India and China should not let differences become disputes’,” it said, referring to the foreign secretary’s previous remarks during a recent speech in Singapore.
“China has a will to solve the problem peacefully by diplomatic means, and China also cherishes the peace and serenity in the border areas, but the precondition is that the trespassers of India must withdraw unconditionally,” the statement further said.