China asks India to withdraw troops, daily blames Doval

By Gaurav Sharma

Beijing, July 25 (IANS) China on Tuesday renewed a call for India to pull back from Doklam, with its Foreign Minister Wang Yi reacting for the first time on the raging crisis which has pitted the two armies against each other in the Sikkim section.

As Wang blamed New Delhi for triggering the stand-off, China’s state-run media continued its vitriol, calling India’s National Security Adviser the “main schemer” behind the latest border dispute.

Wang said India’s stand on the dispute was untenable as it already “admitted” that its troops entered Chinese territory and a pullback by New Delhi was the “simple solution” to the border row.

Wang, the most senior Chinese government official to speak on the issue, said India was responsible for the crisis.

“The rights and wrongs are very clear, and even senior Indian officials have openly stated that Chinese troops did not enter into the Indian boundary. So India has admitted it crossed into the Chinese territory,” he said.

“The solution is very simple. India must conscientiously pull back its troops,” a statement quoted Wang as saying.

China also said it was battle ready and would step up the deployment of soldiers and military equipment in Tibet.

In New Delhi, the Indian Army’s Vice Chief, Lt Gen Sarath Chand, said China was bound to be a threat to India in the years to come.

“On the North, we have China which has a large landmass, huge resources and a large standing army…. Despite having the Himalayas between us, China is bound to be a threat for us in the years ahead.”

His remarks come two days ahead of a BRICS security summit meet where India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval will be present.

China has indicated its top diplomat Yang Jiechi and Doval may meet on the sidelines if the two-day event, saying host countries in the past had arranged bilateral talks between the heads of the delegation of member countries.

However, an editorial in the Global Times said India was mistaken if it pinned hopes on the “main schemer” Doval’s visit to resolve the dispute.

“As Doval is believed to be one of the main schemers behind the current border stand-off between Chinese and Indian troops, the Indian media is pinning high hopes on the trip to settle the ongoing dispute.

“New Delhi should give up its illusions, and Doval’s Beijing visit is most certainly not an opportunity to settle the stand-off in accordance with India’s will,” it said.

In another commentary, China’s official news agency Xinhua said India had “displayed a quite obvious tendency toward opportunism and adventurism”.

“The blatant move, which tramples on international law, shows that India has stood ready to maximize its interests on the border issue at the cost of its relations with China and it would store up troubles for the development of China-India relations and the work of border controls in the future,” Xinhua said.

The stand-off between India and China at Doklam has entered into its second month and is the new addition to the list of contentious issue between both sides who fought a war in 1962.

At the tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China, Doklam is of high strategic importance to all three. It is disputed between Bhutan and China.

India calls Doklam Bhutanese and perceives any Chinese presence in the area as a threat to its security.

The genesis of the dispute lies in a road being built by the Chinese Army in Doklam. Indian troops halted the work, leading to the crisis.

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