India must withdraw troops to avoid ‘serious consequences’: Chinese state media

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Beijing, July 10 (IANS) India must pull back its troops from Doklam to avoid serious consequences, China’s state-owned news agency Xinhua has said.

In a comment, it said that it was India, not China which was sneaking around the Sikkim sector border where armies of both countries have been engaged in a stand-off.

The agency also said in the name of defending its “ally” Bhutan, India had deployed its troops on Chinese territory, and sought to remind India of the consensus in the international community to respect borders.

“The Indian military’s trespass into Chinese territory is a blatant infringement on China’s sovereignty, which should be immediately and unconditionally rectified,” it said, noting that ever since Indian soldiers “crossed into Chinese territory” and “obstructed work on a road” in the Doklam area in June, China has lodged a series of protests demanding India pull back its troops immediately.

“India should rectify its mistakes and show sincerity to avoid an even more serious situation creating more significant consequences.”

“In order to illegally install its troops on Chinese soil for as long as possible and achieve a fait accompli, India firstly claimed its border had been encroached by China. After realizing its own false allegation was ridiculous, it changed its tone to its actions to being in the name of ‘protecting’ Bhutan,” it said.

It contended that if India cannot honour a long-standing agreement and correct its mistakes in a timely manner, “how is it supposed to win the trust of its other neighbors, including Bhutan?”

It went on to accuse India of going further in “this regional paternalism” by “resorting to groundless assumptions and accusations that China’s construction of the road near their common border would have serious security implications”.

Stressing China has every right to build the road within “its sovereign territory”, the Xinhua piece said that over the past few years, it is actually India that has been “sneaking around the Sikkim section of the China-India border”.

Citing the 1962 conflict when “India’s military suffered a bitter defeat” it criticised Indian Defense Minister Arun Jaitley for asserting that ‘India in 2017 is different from India in 1962’, saying he should “not ignore China’s unwavering and consistent stance which has continued over the last five decades and its firm belief in the international justice that no country can pursue its security at the cost of another country’s sovereignty”.

“The withdrawal of Indian troops from Doklam remains a precondition for bilateral peace, and China will take all necessary measures to ensure its territorial integrity.

“After all, the country should be fully aware of the legal consensus upheld by all members of the international community, that respecting the borderline is the bottom line for sustained peace,” it held

–IANS

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