Beijing: Notwithstanding the Doklam standoff, Chinese military analysts have said that India and China should sign a new boundary convention in the Sikkim sector to replace the 1890 agreement and make it more contemporary.
“For China early harvest means, we want to have a new agreement with India, because the 1890 convention was signed between Great Britain and China,” Senior Colonel Zhao Xiaozhou, Director at the Centre on China-America Defence Relations of the Academy of Military Science, told an Indian media delegation in Beijing.
“It is very essential because there are territorial disputes in the eastern, central and western sectors of the India-China border. Only in the Sikkim section we have the fixed border. So, we want to start from the easiest, that is what we call early harvest,” he added.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry too in its August 2 fact-sheet on Doklam standoff referred to Beijing’s expectations of an “early harvest” in the Sikkim sector.
“The Chinese and Indian sides have been in discussion on making the boundary in the Sikkim Sector an ‘early harvest’ in the settlement of the entire boundary question during the meetings between the Special Representatives on the China-India Boundary Question,” it had said, referring to the 1890 convention.
“The boundary in the Sikkim sector has long been delimited by the 1890 Convention, which was signed between the then China and Great Britain. China and India ought to sign a new boundary convention in their own names to replace the 1890 Convention. This, however, in no way alters the nature of the boundary in the Sikkim sector as having already been delimited,” it had said.
On the Sikkim part of the boundary, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in its June 30 statement on the Doklam standoff had said, “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’.
India and China have been locked in a face-off in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector for the last 50 days after Indian troops stopped the Chinese People’s Liberation Army from building a road in the area. China claimed that it was constructing the road within its territory and has been demanding immediate pull-out of the Indian troops from Doklam. Bhutan says that Doklam belongs to it.