India pushes for talks to resolve China border dispute

Casey Dawson
August 5, 2017

The standoff, on a plateau that lies at the junction between China, India, and Bhutan, is one of the worst border disputes between the nuclear-armed rivals in more than 30 years.

"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", Ren said in a statement.

China's foreign ministry said in a statement that the Indian military was still in Chinese territory, and that China had acted with a great deal of restraint, demanding that India withdraw its forces.

The reaction of the Chinese defence ministry had come a day after India's External Affairs Ministry in a statement said peace and tranquility along the India-China boundary constituted the important prerequisite for a smooth development of bilateral relationship.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in the Rajya Sabha that "patience is key to resolving problems" because if patience is lost, there can be provocation on the other side.

Beijing is intensifying its warnings to Indian troops to get out of a contested region high in the Himalayas where China, India and Bhutan meet, saying China's "restraint has its limits" and publicizing live-fire drills in Tibet.

The ministry reiterated that the border had been agreed in 1890 by the governments of China and Britain, India's colonial ruler until 1947, and later with the Indian government.

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According to the Convention, the Dong Lang area, which is located on the Chinese side of the China-India boundary, is indisputably Chinese territory.

The illegal crossing of a delimited boundary and entering the territory of a neighboring country violate China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, worldwide law and basic norms governing global relations.

Rejecting the demand by some opposition parties to step up military presence along the border where it is locked in a face-off with China, Swaraj said wisdom lay in resolving the issue diplomatically.

Swaraj had said India had very cordial relations with Pakistan and was engaged in peace talks since the formation of the NDA government till the encounter of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani.

Reportedly, it is only at India's insistence that Bhutan has spurned a Chinese proposal that it abandon its claim to the Doklam in exchange for China acknowledging Bhutan's sovereignty over a large area further north.

Swaraj also hit out at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for meeting Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui last month, amid the Doklam border standoff instead of trying to understand the situation from the Indian government.

What are the consequences of India's illegally crossing the China-India border? The MEA claimed that it is not only engaging with China, but also Bhutan, the third party in the tri-junction row.

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