On 26th June 2017, The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a statement alleging that Indian border troops crossed the boundary line in the Sikkim sector of the China-India boundary and entered Chinese territory. Strongly responding to Chinese claims MEA called the Chinese bluff in a press release this afternoon.
There were multiple points and issues addressed by Ministry of External affairs Gopal Bagalay.
Issue 1: On 16 June, a PLA construction party entered the Doklam area and attempted to construct a road. Royal Bhutan Army patrol attempted to dissuade the Chinese from undertaking this unilateral activity. The statement from the Ambassador of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) further confirms it. Bhutanese also lodged a protest with the Chinese Government through their Embassy in New Delhi on 20 June.
MEA rebuttal: India is deeply concerned at the recent Chinese actions and has conveyed to the Chinese Government that such construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India.
Issue 2: Yesterday, the Foreign Ministry of Bhutan has also issued a statement underlining that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the 1988 and 1998 agreements between Bhutan and China and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between these two countries. They are hopeful to a return to the status quo as before 16 June 2017. The Bhutanese side RGOB and the Indian embassy have been mutually working on this with a close consultation to respective counterparts on matters pertaining to the illegal Chinese construction.
MEA rebuttal: In this context, MEA has underlined the 2012 agreement that the tri-junction boundary points between India, China, and third countries will be finalized in consultation with the concerned countries. Hence the Chinese provocative attempt to unilaterally determine tri-junction points is in violation of this understanding.
Issue 3: In coordination with the RGOB, Indian personnel, who were present at general area Doka La, approached the Chinese construction party and urged them to desist from changing the status quo.
MEA rebuttal: Pointing to the boundary in the Sikkim sector, the MEA referred to the 2012 agreement again and in the process reconfirming their mutual agreement on the “basis of the alignment”. Further discussions regarding finalization of the boundary have been taking place under the Special Representatives framework.
The matter has been under discussion between India and China since then at all diplomatic and foreign level talks. As a matter of the fact it was also the subject of a Border Personnel Meeting at Nathu La on 20 June. The meeting, however, failed given the Chinese unequivocal provocation and closing of the Nathu la pass.
Even after showing the dragon its own ugly cunning face, the MEA still displays positive restraint in the matter and hoped that none of the countries change the status quo unilaterally and in the process disturbs the peace and tranquility in the region.
The issue of tri-junctions is nothing new. Instead of giving childish press conferences they should focus on building peace between the two fastest growing economies in the world. Chinese should not forget a significant amount of their GDP is dependent on Indian economy. Closing a spiritual yatra is nothing but the cowardice of utmost degree.
This is not the India the Chinese should display their superiority complex on anymore. Yes, dear Chinese, This is not 1962. India’s PM is not a stupid drug addict womanizer. And we have an army that can chain any dragon that dares to poke its face in sovereignty and integrity of this country. We are a socialist democratic republic, not a sadist communist state.