China on Friday asserted that it was entitled to build infrastructure in Doklam, but declined to comment specifically on the purported satellite pictures that apparently show fresh construction in the area. “I don’t know who offers such kind of photos. I don’t know the detailed information,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said when asked about the images. Mr. Lu, however, reiterated that Doklam was Chinese sovereign territory, where Beijing was entitled to build infrastructure at its discretion. “China is exercising its sovereignty in its own territory. It’s legitimate and justified. Just as China will not make comments about Indian construction of infrastructure on India’s territory, we hope other countries will not make comment on China’s construction of infrastructure on its territory,” he said. “You must be quite clear. Donglong [Doklam] always belongs to China and is always under China’s effective jurisdiction. There is no dispute in this regard,” he said. Beijing had constructed “infrastructure, including road in the Donglang area,” he asserted but was ambiguous on whether this was fresh construction, following the Doklam crisis, or otherwise. Neither did he say whether there was any infrastructure development specifically at the face-off area, from where troops from both sides disengaged last year after a 73-day face-off. In New Delhi, the Ministry of External said in a statement on Thursday that “the status quo at the face-off site has not been altered”. “Any suggestion to the contrary is inaccurate and mischievous.”
Blames Indian troops for Doklam crisis
Mr. Lu blamed Indian troops for last summer’s Doklam crisis on account of their so called “illegal transgress”. He added: “We hope Indian side learns lesson and avoids the incident to happen again.” Mr. Lu cited the Xiamen BRICS summit in September where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met as the touchstone for the improvement of ties. “Actually, during the Xiamen Summit last year, two leaders reached some consensus on improving and developing bilateral relations and chartering the course for future developments,” ho observed. “We hope relevant parties can earnestly follow through on the consensus reached by two leaders. Moving in the same direction and jointly uphold the peace and stability of the border areas and stay committed to the comprehensive development of bilateral relations,” he said.