China Demands That India Pulls Back Border Troops Immediately

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Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in a stand-off in Doklam on the Sikkim sector. Tensions over the border are heightened again.

India's external affairs ministry says the country is "deeply concerned" at the developments, adding that constructing the road would represent a significant change to the status quo, which would have serious security implications for India. The warning was repeated by China's ambassador to India, Luo Zhaohui on Tuesday. The BBC has a useful roundup of the history and context of the current tensions.

The state run daily Chinese vernacular in its report said that India will suffer "greater losses" than in 1962 if it "incites" border clashes with China. However, India asserts that only the alignment of the border at the watershed line had been agreed. The realignment of ground position was meant to grasp a decisive advantage in the region and went beyond the "needle and nibble" attempts to reset parts of the unsettled boundary between India and China. "In fact, Chinese maps show sizeable areas of Bhutan as part of Tibet", Nehru said in the letter accessed by PTI here.

CHINA said yesterday that it was absurd for India to use the excuse of Chinese road-building to cross their border, and accused India of militarizing its side of the frontier.

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"In essence, China's territorial sovereignty has been undermined by the Indian border troops", the Chinese official said, repeating the accusations levelled by the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing. "This is the pre-condition for any meaningful dialogue between China and India", the Chinese political counselor added. India has long challenged Chinese control over Tibet, with New Delhi providing shelter to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who Beijing sees as a separatist tool of foreign powers opposed to China.

India has said Beijing's action to "unilaterally determine tri-junction points" is in violation of a 2012 India-China agreement. China was not in the list since the beginning, so there is no question of China cancelling the meeting with Modi.

"Pacts must be respected - this is a basic principle of worldwide law", Mr Geng said.

"But this incident I believe violates the spirit upheld by the special representative mechanism and also is in contrast to the efforts made by the two sides previously", he said. "Although China recognized India's annexation of Sikkim in 2003, it can readjust its stance on the matter", an editorial in the newspaper warned. Bhutan, however, has no diplomatic ties with China and it is supported militarily and diplomatically by India. According to Hindustan Times, the drill, which also involved the testing of new equipment, was conducted to evaluate the battle-readiness of People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops at altitudes of 15,000 feet and above, official Xinhua news agency reported. The G20 summit begins on Friday. Both last held a structured meeting in June in Kazakhstan during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit.

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