Ministry says India's actions not ‘for peace'

By WANG QINGYUN in Beijing and CHEN WEIHUA in Washington | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-04 06:02

What India has done in its incursion into China's Donglang area (Doklam) is "by no means for peace", a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

Spokesman Geng Shuang responded after the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said that "peace and tranquility" of the border between the two nations constitutes the important prerequisite for the smooth development of bilateral relations.

Geng said that China, "out of good will", notified India in advance through a border meeting mechanism on May 18 and June 8 about its road construction in the Donglang area, but "the Indian side didn't make any response to the Chinese side through any channel for over one month".

"Instead, it flagrantly dispatched armed forces carrying equipment to illegally cross the boundary to obstruct China's road building. This is by no means for peace."

By Wednesday, more than one month after the incursion, 48 Indian border troops and one bulldozer still illegally remained in the Chinese territory, according to Geng.

India's action "amounts to irresponsibility and recklessness", and the incident "is illegal under international law", Geng said.

What's more, India "is building roads, hoarding supplies and deploying a large number of armed forces on the Indian side of the boundary," which also "is by no means for peace", he said.

The Foreign Ministry issued a paper on Wednesday elaborating on what has transpired — and the Chinese government's position over the incident — warning India not to underestimate China's resolve to defend its territory.

Jon Taylor, a professor of political science at the University of St Thomas in Houston, said the Indian military breached both international law and a treaty convention by entering Chinese territory shortly after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the United States.

"The incursion can be viewed as part of a greater strategic competition be¬tween China and India, one that is influenced by (US President Donald) Trump's push for a closer partnership with India," he said.

Taylor said that despite India's actions, China has remained restrained and tolerant. "I believe that this is because China wishes to preserve friendly China-India relations," he said.

Contact the writers at wangqingyun@china¬

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