Chinese defence ministry reiterates stand on Doklam stand-off to visiting Indian media team

Defence Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang says China was puzzled by the movement of Indian troops

August 07, 2017 07:57 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 12:38 pm IST - BEIJING

Col. Ren stressed that China had first notified India of its intention to build a road on March 18

Col. Ren stressed that China had first notified India of its intention to build a road on March 18

The Chinese defence ministry on Monday opened its doors to a visiting Indian media delegation and reiterated its position that Indian troops must leave the Doklam plateau to resolve the crisis in the Sikkim section of the China-India frontier.

Defence Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang signalled that China was puzzled by the movement of Indian troops, in view of the interaction between the two militaries on two occasions prior to the crisis.

He stressed that China first notified India of its intention to build a road on March 18 - a day after an Indian military delegation, on a goodwill mission, visited the 3rd Garrison of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on the outskirts of Beijing. He said that the Indian side was, for the second time, informed about the Chinese decision, a fortnight prior to the arrival of PLA troops with bulldozers at the site of the road construction. On both occasions, there was no response from the Indian side.

Asked to explain the rationale of China’s decision to notify India about its intent to build the road, Sr. Colonel Ren said this was done as a gesture of goodwill.


Analysts say that India has objected to Chinese road construction as it altered the status quo in the disputed tri-junction area of China, India and Bhutan, contrary to the 2012 agreement of the Special Representatives of the two countries.

Sr. Col. Ren said that China was firmly demanding that Indian troops must unilaterally withdraw from the Doklam area, as a prerequisite for a dialogue between the two countries.

The Chinese official asserted that Bhutan’s objection to the construction of the road was due to India’s political pressure. He also said that there could be no justification of crossing by Indian troops into the area, claimed by China as its sovereign territory, on grounds of security.

The Chinese military officials reiterated that the Doklam crisis could not be compared with previous stand-offs in Demchok and Chumar, which were caused on account of the divergent positions on the alignment of the Line of Actual Control.

The visiting media delegation is now slated to visit the PLA Navy’s South Sea Fleet in Zhanjiang in China’s coastal Guangdong province.

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