Border plan assessment is in works

By WANG QINGYUN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2017-08-30 06:41

Weather, other factors to determine how to proceed with Donglang building

China will plan the construction of infrastructure in Donglang as "actual circumstances" allow, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Tuesday, adding that Chinese border troops are continuing to patrol and defend the area.

"We will make an overall assessment of the weather conditions and all related factors, and according to the actual circumstances complete construction plans for the Donglang area," Hua said at a daily news briefing.

China has long been constructing infrastructure, including roads, in Donglang to meet the needs of border defense and to improve the performance and living conditions for local troops and civilians, Hua said.

All Indian personnel and equipment withdrew from Donglang about 2:30 pm on Monday, Chinese officials at the scene confirmed. On June 18, the Indian troops illegally crossed into the Sikkim sector of the China-India border to stop China from building a road, triggering tensions that lasted more than two months.

The Sikkim sector, a delimited part of the China-India boundary, was defined in the Convention Between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet, which was signed in 1890.

Hu Shisheng, director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceania Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said stable ties between China and India are needed.

"Even though the standoff lasted about 70 days, the two mature, large countries didn't give up diplomatic efforts," Hu said, adding that the solution of the incident shows that the power of peace has triumphed.

Hu said the withdrawal has shown that India is aware of the legitimacy of China's infrastructure construction in Donglang, which is within China's sovereignty, and that India needs to reflect on its illegal trespass and prevent similar incidents in the future.

Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary it was the "correct choice" for India to withdraw, and "it is expected that India will continue its correct attitude and work with China to put China-India ties on a healthy track".

"For China and India, close neighbors and the world's two largest emerging economies, their common interests far outweigh their disputes," it said.

In another development, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the ninth BRICS Summit, which will be held in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Sept 3 to 5.

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