China Releases 15-Page ‘Doklam Statement’, Cites Document From 2006 to Accuse India of Trespass
Beijing, Aug 2: China on Wednesday released a 15-page statement on Doklam, reiterating its charge against India of violating the borders. Beijing cited a diplomatic ‘nop-paper’ from 2006, when the two sides bilaterally decided to adhere to the boundary alignment treaty inked between China and Great Britain in 1890, to demarcate the border at Sikkim.
The non-paper was pitched by the Indian side during the meeting between Special Representatives on the boundary issue on May 10, 2006. “Both sides agreed on the boundary alignment near Sikkim border as per the 1890 convention,” the non-paper was quoted as saying by Chinese foreign ministry.
Apart from hitting out at New Delhi for the alleged trespass of Indian troops in Donglang (Doklam), Beijing also proposed that the two nations should replace existing border sharing treaty, dating back to 1890, with a fresh boundary alignment pact. The new convention would form the basis of amicably resolving the Sino-Indian territorial issues. ALSO READ: India Rejects China’s 1.3 Billion Dollar Proposal to Buy Gland Pharma Amid Doklam Row
The statement issued by China, despite citing the diplomatic non-paper, failed to highlight the assertion made by Indian Foreign Ministry in 2012, over the border-sharing dispute with China. The Ministry had reiterated that any attempt made by either New Delhi or Beijing to unilaterally determine the tri-junction point with Beijing would violate the understanding reached in 2012.
“Tri-junction boundary points between India, China and third countries will be finalised in consultation with the concerned countries,” the Indian Foreign Ministry had said.
Informed India in advance about road construction in Doklam
The Chinese Foreign Ministry further claimed that Indian officials were told in advance about Beijing’s decision to construct roads in the region, to improve regional connectivity. “China did not cross the boundary in its road building, and it notified India in advance in full reflection of China’s goodwill,” the statement added.
The document dismissed India’s claims that China was attempting to change the status quo of the border region by building a road.
It said Indian troops “transgressing” into Chinese territory was “indeed a real attempt to change the status quo of the boundary, and it has gravely undermined peace and tranquility of the China-India border area”.
“To cross a delimited boundary and enter the territory of a neighbouring country on the grounds of so-called ‘security concerns’, for whatever activities, runs counter to the basic principles of international law and basic norms governing international relations,” Beijing added.
India, so far, has denied trespassing into the territory of China, calling the tri-junction region of Doklam as a contested region between Beijing and Thimphu. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, while addressing the Parliament over the Doklam dispute, said, the Indian forces are prepared to tackle all forms of military aggression. She, however, asserted that India is in favour of pursuing “peaceful diplomatic solutions” for all bilateral issues.