China, India relations tense over construction of road

China, India relations tense over construction of road
# 03 July 2017 20:43 (UTC +04:00)

Relations between China and India have soured over a tri-junction border between India, China and Bhutan, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

Indian troops have been stationed at the Donglong border, near its mountainous Sikkim state, for almost a month, which is the longest stand-off between the two neighbors since a war they fought in 1962.

China has accused India of obstructing the construction of a road, which India claims lays in its territory.

Chinese troops have also removed two Indian bunkers using a bulldozer, said sources that refused to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

China on Monday dismissed Indian Defense Minister Arun Jaitley's remarks that India of 2017 is different from that of 1962 -- a reference to the war the two countries fought.

Speaking at a news conference in the capital Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that China had made several diplomatic protests over India’s border violation.

“[China] will take all necessary measures to safeguard its territorial sovereignty,” said a statement released by the Chinese foreign ministry.

India broke its silence over the issue last week. The Indian External Affairs Ministry in a statement said that it is deeply concerned over recent Chinese activity at the border, and that the construction of the road will have serious security implications for India.

The two countries in 2012 had agreed that the tri-junction boundary between India, China and third countries will be finalized in consultation, the statement added.

“Any attempt, therefore, to unilaterally determine tri-junction points is in violation of this understanding,” said the statement.

China, this June, barred the entry of more than 300 Indian Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims.

The Indian government had to call off the yearly pilgrimage from Sikkim, where many believe is the abode of the Hindu god Shiva.

The cancellation came after China kept a precondition for India to call off its troops from the border.

China recognizes Sikkim as a protectorate of British India in 1890, which it claims India occupied in 1975.

The Chinese-Indian border is 3500 kilometer (2174.8 miles) long, of which the border with Sikkim is just 220 km (136 mi). This small length has remained terse since the 1960s with occasional skirmishes reported on both sides.