International

China accuses India of misleading the public

Workers prepare a barbed wire fencing along the India-China trade route amid dense fog at Nathu-La.  

China on Tuesday accused India of “misleading the public” by pointing out that the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops was taking place not at the tri-junction of China, India and Bhutan but at an undisputed section in the Donglang general area.

Asked specifically during the regular media briefing on Wednesday, whether the tri-junction, where the faceoff between Chinese and Indian troops is apparently underway, is covered by the 1890 convention between China and Britain on the Sikkim-Tibet boundary, the foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang said:

“Regarding the so-called tri-junction, I believe my colleague has already given information about (that). The convention in 1890 said that the Sikkim section of the boundary commences east from the Gymochen mountain and the incident took place about 2000 meters away from the mountain. So it has nothing to do with the tri-junction.”

He added: “The Indian side is actually misleading by saying that the incident took place at the tri-junction point.”

 

Asked to clarify whether Donglang or Doklam is not at the tri-junction, Mr. Geng said: “I have already said very clearly just now. In disregard of the (1890) convention, the Indian side (said) that Doklam is located within the tri-junction of the three countries. That is misleading the public.”

But contrary to the Chinese perception, Bhutan’s ambassador to India, Vetsop Namgyel has said that, "Doklam is a disputed territory and Bhutan has a written agreement with China that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, peace and tranquility should be maintained in the area."

However, on Wednesday, the foreign ministry spokesperson reiterated that there is no dispute between China and Bhutan over Donglang. “China and Bhutan have been having boundary talks. We have already had 24 rounds of such kind of talks. Although the boundary between our two countries is yet to be settled, but we have achieved consensus on the boundary, and there is no dispute between the two countries that Doklam belongs to China,” Mr. Geng observed.

 

Analysts say that in the past China has expressed its willingness to concede of 900 sq.km of territory in the north of Bhutan, but have insisted on holding 400 sq.km of territory in the west — the gateway to the Chumbi valley, which can threaten the Siliguri corridor — the narrow passage connecting the north-east with the rest of India.

Bhutan has a 2007 treaty of friendship with India, and Article 2 of the treaty obligates the two countries to support each other to protect their national security interests.

Asked whether China was in possession with any document after the watershed 1962 war, in which India had explicitly recognised Donglang as part of China, the spokesperson said: “The Sikkim section has already been delimited, so this time Indian border troops crossed the delimited section into the Chinese side, and the nature of the incident is very serious.”

Earlier during his briefing, Mr. Geng had cited a note by the Indian embassy in China of February 12, 1960, two years before the Himalayan war, not only endorsing China’s interpretation that the boundary between Sikkim and Tibet had been delimited, but had gone further to say that the boundary had already been demarcated on the ground as well.

The spokesperson asserted that the entry of Indian forces, allegedly into Chinese territory “violated the purposes and principles of the United Nations charter, international law and international norms”.

Mr. Geng highlighted that India’s action went against the spirit of the Special Representatives mechanism to resolve the border dispute. He urged the “withdrawal of Indian border troops to the Indian side of the border as soon as possible to demonstrate their sincerity in resolving the boundary question and improving the relationship”.


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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 4:11:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/china-accuses-india-of-misleading-public-military/article19216538.ece

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