China on Thursday said India should withdraw its forces from Doklam if it truly “cherishes peace”, and accused New Delhi of building roads, stocking supplies and deploying military along the border in the Sikkim sector.
It also said India’s demand that Beijing pull back its troops from Doklam is unreasonable and shows its lack of sincerity to resolve the standoff.
Beijing said India kept “peace on the tip of its tongue”, but its deeds reflect that New Delhi by no means wants peace.
It said India’s troops were building roads, hoarding supplies and deploying a large number of armed forces on the Indian side of the boundary.
“This is by no means for peace,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.
“The Indian side is always keeping ‘peace’ on the tip of its tongue. But we should not only listen to its words but also pay heed to its deeds,” Geng said.
“If the Indian side truly cherishes peace, what it should do is to immediately pull back the trespassing border troops to the Indian side of the boundary,” he added.
Geng said there were 48 Indian troops in Doklam until Wednesday.
Doklam is disputed between China and Bhutan. India says the area belongs to Bhutan.
The crisis began when Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road there in June.
On Wednesday, Beijing in a 15-page statement said the number of Indian troops in Doklam had reduced from 400 to 40 by the end of July.
India has denied any reduction in the troops at Doklam where both sides have been engaged in a stand-off since mid-June.
Geng said despite being intimated twice about road construction – on May 18 and June 8 – India did not respond.
“China had notified the Indian side in advance out of goodwill through the border meeting mechanism on May 18 and June 8 respectively and the Indian side didn’t make any response.”
Geng said on June 18 over 270 armed Indian border troops driving two bulldozers crossed the boundary in the Sikkim Sector at Doka La pass and advanced more than 100 meters into Chinese territory to obstruct the road building of the Chinese side.
“As of August 2, there were still 48 Indian border troops and one bulldozer illegally staying in the Chinese territory,” Geng said.
He said Indian troops have been staying on Chinese territory for more than a month and asked New Delhi for an immediate pullback.
Geng said instead of withdrawing troops from Doklam, New Delhi made unreasonable demands to China which demonstrated its lack of sincerity for resolving the incident.
“This is by no means for peace,” he added.
China has repeatedly asked India to withdraw troops from Doklam. India says it is ready if Beijing does so too.
“The fact that the Indian border troops illegally trespassed the boundary is irrefutable. Under such circumstances, instead of deeply reflecting on its mistakes, the Indian side fabricated such sheer fallacies as the so-called ‘security concerns’, the ‘issue of tri-junction’ and ‘at the request of Bhutan’ as excuses to justify its wrongdoing. This is by no means for peace.”
With the inputs from Times Now