China accuses Indian troops of ‘crossing boundary’ in Sikkim section, demands their immediate withdrawal
Accusing Indian troops of “crossing the boundary” in the Sikkim section, China on Monday night demanded their immediate withdrawal and a thorough investigation into the entire matter.
China also asserted that it has shut down the Nathu La pass entry for Indian pilgrims travelling to Kailash Mansarovar because of the border standoff.
In a statement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang accused Indian troops of obstructing normal activities of the Chinese frontier forces in the Donglang area in Sikkim recently after which the Chinese side, according to him, took counter-measures.
“China urges India to immediately withdraw its border guards that have crossed the boundary and have a thorough investigation of this matter,” Geng said.
“They obstructed normal activities of the Chinese frontier forces in the Donglang area in Sikkim recently, and the Chinese side has taken counter-measures,” he added.
The Sikkim section of the China-India boundary has been defined by treaties, Geng said, noting that the Indian government has repeatedly confirmed in writing that there is no objection to it.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had yesterday accused the Indian military of stopping the construction of a road in what it claims to be China’s “sovereign territory” in the Sikkim section of the India-China border and said the move has “seriously damaged” border peace and tranquillity.
Geng’s statement comes after tension mounted in a remote area of Sikkim following a scuffle between the personnel of the Indian Army and the PLA, leading to Chinese troops damaging bunkers on the Indian side of the border.
The incident happened in the first week of June near the Lalten post in the Doka La general area in Sikkim after a face-off between the two forces, which triggered tension along the Sino-Indian frontier.
After the scuffle, the PLA entered Indian territory and damaged two make-shift bunkers of the Army.
Following the India-China war of 1962, the area has been under the Indian Army and the ITBP, which is the border guarding force and has a camp 15km from the international border.
(With PTI inputs)