The Hindu – Doklam: Give up illusion, Beijing tells New Delhi

Says no country should underestimate its forces

Atul Aneja

Beijing, 4 August 2017. China’s defence ministry on Thursday stepped up calls for immediate withdrawal of Indian troops from the Doklam plateau. It asserted that Beijing will “resolutely protect” the country’s territorial sovereignty and security interests.

In a statement released on Thursday night, defence ministry spokesperson Ren Guoqiang urged the “Indian side to give up the illusion of its delaying tactic, as no country should underestimate the Chinese forces’ confidence and capability to safeguard peace and their resolve and willpower to defend national sovereignty, security and development interests”.

“Chinese armed forces will resolutely protect the country’s territorial sovereignty and security interests,” he said.

The statement reiterated the Chinese position that Indian troops in Doklam were being scaled down. It pointed out that as of Thursday “there are still Indian border troops illegally staying in the Chinese territory”.

A 15-page statement by the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday fixed the Indian troop presence at “over 40,” from a peak of 400 and in New Delhi, Liu Jinsong, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Chinese embassy said on Thursday that Indian forces in Doklam numbered 48.

Colonel Ren said that since the incident occurred, “China has shown utmost goodwill and sought to communicate with India through diplomatic channels to resolve the incident.

Chinese armed forces have also shown a high level of restraint with an eye to the general bilateral relations and the regional peace and stability”. But he warned that “goodwill has its principles and restraint has its bottom line”.

Colonel Ren called upon India to “swiftly address the situation in a proper manner to restore peace and tranquillity in the border region”.