Beijing [China], August 17 : With India-China stand-off at Doklam approaching its second month, China's Foreign Ministry has reiterated that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops would continue to defend Dong Lang, which is Chinese territory, and India should withdraw all its troops and equipment from there.
The Chinese state media said that the Chinese people would never back down in defending its sovereignty and no country should underestimate China's resolve.

"The Dong Lang area borders India's Sikkim state to the west and the Kingdom of Bhutan to the south. The Dong Lang is described as a disputed territory in some western media reports, which is simply untrue," the commentary in the Chinese state media said.

In 1890, China and the U.K. signed the Convention between Great Britain and China relating to Sikkim and Tibet, which delimited the boundary between the Tibet region of China and Sikkim.

According to the convention, Dong Lang is Chinese territory - Chinese troops patrol the area and Chinese herdsmen graze livestock there.

"This Convention of 1890 also defined the boundary between Sikkim and Tibet; and the boundary was later, in 1895, demarcated. There is, thus, no dispute regarding the boundary of Sikkim with the Tibet region," read a letter from the then Indian prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to Chinese premier Zhou Enlai in 1959.

The commentary shows a significant shift in the tone of China as stating a good neighbour is better than a distant brother. China, of course, has no desire to enter into a war with its neighbour.

On June 18, over 270 armed Indian troops with two bulldozers crossed the boundary in the Sikkim Sector and advanced more than 100 m into China.

As of the end of July, there were still over 40 Indian troops and one bulldozer in the Chinese territory.

China is building roads on its own territory, did not cross the boundary and notified India in advance. India did not raise any objection at that time, or any other, until its troops suddenly invaded Dong Lang, the commentary states.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has reiterated that India's road map is peace and talks are going on to resolve the issue diplomatically.

"Our concerns emanate from the Chinese action on the ground which have implications for the determination of the tri-junction boundary point between India, China and Bhutan and the alignment of India-China boundary in the Sikkim sector. Thus, China is trying to change the status-quo of the disputed tri-junction boundary point," she had said.

India has made its stance clear that that it stands for peace the border question can be solved diplomatically, not by war.

(Posted on 17 August 2017, 1686180101 172O70O39O168)