China sets Indian troops withdrawal ‘precondition’ for peace

  • India should pull back its troops for peace: Chinese Ambassador
  • Indian and Chinese troops are reportedly facing off on a section of land near trijunction, where Tibet, India and Bhutan meet
  • Bhutan has no diplomatic relations with China though it is a close ally of India

BEIJING – China has outlined that the withdrawal of Indian troops from disputed territory was a precondition for peace between the south-Asian neighbours.

China’s ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui, in an interview late Wednesday expressed that Indian troops should unconditionally pull back to the Indian side.

“There has been talk about this option, that option. It is up to your government policy,” envoy Luo Zhaohui told the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency.

He clarified that the Chinese government was very clear that it wanted a peaceful resolution at the current state of the situation for which withdrawal of Indian troops from the area was a pre-condition.

The latest skirmish comes as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to meet with China’s President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Germany this week.

Pakistan’s closest friend China, and India have a number of border disputes, although the section of the frontier that runs along the northeastern state of Sikkim, near where the current stand-off is taking place, is generally regarded as stable.

Indian and Chinese troops are reportedly facing off on a section of land high in the Himalayas near what is known as the trijunction, where Tibet, India and Bhutan meet.

China has alleged that the Indian troops are on its soil, but both Bhutan and India say the area in question is Bhutanese territory.

India, which has a military presence in Bhutan, maintains that its troops approached a Chinese army unit that entered the Doklam area of the Himalayan nation on June 16 and tried to construct a road.

Bhutan, one of the world’s smallest countries, has said the construction of a road on its territory is “a direct violation” of agreements with China.

“Bhutan hopes that the status quo in the Doklam area will be maintained as before 16 June 2017,” the foreign ministry said in a statement last week.

Nonetheless, Bhutan is a close ally of Pakistan’s arch-rival India and has no formal diplomatic relations with China.