Sikkim border issue: MEA denies Chinese claims on Indian troops, says India committed to peaceful resolution of border disputes

Updated On : 30 Jun , 2017 , 02:25 PM
Sikkim border issue: MEA denies Chinese claims on Indian troops, says India committed to peaceful resolution of border disputes
Sikkim border issue: MEA denies Chinese claims on Indian troops, says India committed to peaceful resolution of border disputes
New Delhi:

Ministry of External Affairs on Friday called for a peaceful resolution of the conflict on the Bhutan-China border in relations to Chinese excursion in Bhutanese territory. 

Furthermore, India denied the allegations that its troops ventured into the Chinese territory. Instead, India claimed, that on 16 June, a PLA construction party entered the Doklam area and attempted to construct a road, which led to subsequent efforts to push them back by Bhutanese and Indian forces. 

"India is deeply concerned at the recent Chinese actions and has conveyed to the Chinese Government that such construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India," the MEA statement said. 

"In this context, the Indian side has underlined that the two Governments had in 2012 reached agreement that the tri-junction boundary points between India, China and the third countries will be finalised in consultation with the concerned countries. Any attempt, therefore, to unilaterally determine tri-junction points is in violation of this understanding," it added. 

On the issue of Sikkim boundary, India asserted that the two nations reached an understanding in 2012 reconfirming their mutual agreement on the "basis of the alignment”. 

"It is essential that all parties concerned display utmost restraint and abide by their respective bilateral understandings not to change the status quo unilaterally. It is also important that the consensus reached between India and China through the Special Representatives process is scrupulously respected by both sides," the statement said. 

Read | Amid Sikkim standoff, Chinese Army tests battle tank in Tibet near Indian border

Full statement by MEA on the recent development in Doklam area 

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a statement on 26 June 2017 alleging that Indian border troops crossed the boundary line in the Sikkim sector of the China-India boundary and entered Chinese territory. This has been reiterated since then in other Chinese official briefings. 

The facts of the matter are as follows: 

i.On 16 June, a PLA construction party entered the Doklam area and attempted to construct a road. It is our understanding that a Royal Bhutan Army patrol attempted to dissuade them from this unilateral activity. The Ambassador of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) has publicly stated that it lodged a protest with the Chinese Government through their Embassy in New Delhi on 20 June.

ii.Yesterday, the Foreign Ministry of Bhutan has also issued a statement underlining that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the 1988 and 1998 agreements between Bhutan and China and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between these two countries. They have urged a return to the status quo as before 16 June 2017.

iii.In keeping with their tradition of maintaining close consultation on matters of mutual interest, RGOB and the Government of India have been in continuous contact through the unfolding of these developments. 

iv.In coordination with the RGOB, Indian personnel, who were present at general area Doka La, approached the Chinese construction party and urged them to desist from changing the status quo. These efforts continue.

v.The matter has been under discussion between India and China at the diplomatic level in the Foreign Ministries since then, both in New Delhi and Beijing. It was also the subject of a Border Personnel Meeting at Nathu La on 20 June. 

India is deeply concerned at the recent Chinese actions and has conveyed to the Chinese Government that such construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India.

In this context, the Indian side has underlined that the two Governments had in 2012 reached agreement that the tri-junction boundary points between India, China and third countries will be finalised in consultation with the concerned countries. Any attempt, therefore, to unilaterally determine tri-junction points is in violation of this understanding.

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”. Further discussions regarding finalisation of the boundary have been taking place under the Special Representatives framework.

It is essential that all parties concerned display utmost restraint and abide by their respective bilateral understandings not to change the status quo unilaterally. It is also important that the consensus reached between India and China through the Special Representatives process is scrupulously respected by both sides.

India has consistently taken a positive approach to the settlement of its own boundary with China, along with the associated issue of the tri-junctions.India cherishes peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas. It has not come easily. Both sides have worked hard to establish an institutional framework to discuss all issues to ensure peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas. India is committed to working with China to find a peaceful resolution of all issues in the border areas through dialogue.

Read | China says construction of road in Sikkim sector ‘legitimate’ as the territory neither belongs to India nor Bhutan

First Published : Friday, June 30, 2017 02:16 PM
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