Beijing: With the standoff at Doklam running beyond a month, China on Tuesday asked India not to use “trespass” into Doklam area as a “policy tool” to achieve its political targets. The foreign ministry in a statement also asked India to immediately withdraw its troops in order to avoid any kind of escalation.
On being asked if a “close-door briefing” was held with the foreign diplomats to convey China’s version of events, the foreign ministry said it was in “close communication” with the foreign mission in Beijing, but refused to confirm the meeting.
“Since the illegal trespass by Indian border personnel, many foreign diplomats in China felt shocked about this and (wanted) to confirm whether it was true,” the ministry’s spokesman Lu Kang said when asked about the reported briefing. “The Chinese side maintains close communication with the foreign diplomatic missions on the issues they are interested,” Kang told reporters.
In the meeting, China also reportedly told the foreign diplomats that its “patience with India won’t be indefinite”. When asked about this, Lu said Beijing stressed that the “facts are very clear in this incident”. “You must be very clear about it. We hope the Indian side can get clear understanding of the current situation and take immediate measures to withdraw the personnel who have illegally crossed the boundary so as to avoid the escalation,” he added.
The state owned Chinese media has also been very vocal about the confrontation between the two neighbours. An Op-ed in a Chinese state-run daily said that if India “stirs up conflicts in several spots, it must face the consequence of an all-out confrontation with China along the entire LAC (Line of Actual Control).” “China doesn’t advocate and tries hard to avoid a military clash with India, but China doesn’t fear going to war to safeguard sovereignty either, and will make itself ready for a long-term confrontation,” said The Global Times.
The standoff between India and China started after India expressed its concern over the construction of a road by China near the Sikkim border. China has blamed India for hampering the construction and also accused Indian soldiers of trespassing in the area, which is also claimed by Bhutan. New Delhi, on its part, fears that if the construction is allowed, the Chinese troops may cut India’s access to the north eastern states and could also have serious security implications for the country.