Withdraw troops, China tells India

Probe against cheap Chinese products Chinese media says India surpasses US in protectionism

Probe against cheap Chinese products Chinese media says India surpasses US in protectionism

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 June 20, " the MEA statement had said.It also pointed out that the Foreign Ministry of Bhutan had issued a statement underlining that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory was 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.

However, refusing these claims, the Ministry of Defence maintained that ever since the stand-off began, India has been maintaining 350-400 troops at Doklam and that has not changed, sources told BusinessLine.

India also conveyed to the Chinese government that the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for it.

Addressing on the occasion, Chinese Foreign Ministry's Spokesperson Geng Shuang said Beijing is committed not only to defend its territorial sovereignty but also to safeguard the basic principles of worldwide law. "The incident took place on the Chinese side of the delimited boundary". It proposed direct talks with Bhutan on the issue. China also alleged obstructions by Indian troops while patrolling in their side of the border, in recent years. China also said that India has no right to interfere on the boundary talks as Chinese are working out on a solution with Bhutan.

Interestingly, such a strong statement comes exactly within a week of the visit of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to Beijing and his meeting with his counterpart and State Councillor Yang Jiechi. However India has made it clear that there can be a resolution to the conflict only through meaningful dialogue.

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"China and Bhutan are friendly neighbours". India should immediately and unconditionally withdraw its trespassing border troops back to the Indian side of the boundary.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said during his talks with Doval, Yang also "urged India to respect China's territorial sovereignty, the worldwide law and the basic rules governing global relations and immediately pull back the trespassing India border troops to the Indian side of the boundary with no strings attached and resolve the current incident with concrete actions".

The standoff at Doklam, the plateau close to Sikkim border, erupted on June 16, after the Indian forces prevented a road construction party of Indian Army to enter the region.

China in a statement on Wednesday claimed there were around 400 Indian troops in the area "at one point", and by end of July there were 40 Indian border troops and one bulldozer "illegally staying over Chinese territory". According to the document, China has no problem with Bhutan and the two sides are discussing the border issue and India does not have to worry about it. "China, with all its attempts to expand its influence in South Asia, can not afford to alienate India by sending it toward a closer partnership with the U.S. in the security sphere", Kashin said. "China will take all necessary measures to safeguard its legitimate and lawful rights and interests", it warned.

This show of strength is being projected by Beijing as a warning to India by China to back off from its objection to China constructing a road at the Doklam tri-junction.

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