Beijing: China’s People’s Liberation Army has slammed India for “unilaterally provoking trouble” amid an on-going face-off between the two militaries along the border in Sikkim.
Both sides have been in a stand-off after a confrontation over a road project. Reports said the PLA crossed into Indian Territory and destroyed two bunkers in the Doka La region in Sikkim. The incident came as China closed the border at Nathu La and prevented the entry of the first batch of pilgrims for the Kailash yatra. Pilgrims at the other entry point in Lipulekh, Uttarakhand, were however allowed. In a statement on Monday, PLA spokesperson Colonel Ren Guoqiang disputed the account.
“Recently, the Chinese side in the Donglong area for road construction, was blocked by the Indian Army. The Sino-Indian border has been delineated by historical treaties. After the independence of India, the Indian government has confirmed in writing several times, acknowledging that there is no objection to the border between the two sides.”
The PLA added, “The construction of the above-mentioned roads by the Chinese side is entirely a sovereign act in its own territory, and the Indian side has no right to interfere”.
“Earlier, the Chinese side has made a briefing to the Indian side. In this context, the Indian military unilaterally provoked trouble, in violation of the agreement between the two sides and the leaders of the two countries consensus, seriously endangering peace and tranquility in the border areas.”
The PLA added, “China is committed to developing bilateral relations between China and India, but will also firmly defend legitimate rights and interests. It is hoped that the Indian side does not make any complication of the border issue and jointly maintains the good momentum of development of bilateral relations.”
Previous incidents have been triggered in the western sector of the border in the Ladakh region, which Indian officials attribute to the overlapping claim lines of the as yet undemarcated Line of Actual Control.
Incidents in 2014 and 2015 strained ties, but officials said the past year had seen a declining number of incidents.
The incident in the Sikkim sector, near the India-Bhutan-Tibet trijunction, has again turned the spotlight on the simmering boundary dispute between the neighbours.