Pull back all troops to end stand-off, China tells India


"Both sides agreed on the boundary alignment near Sikkim border as per the 1890 convention", the non-paper was quoted as saying by Chinese foreign ministry.

Citing the 1890 border agreement between China and Britain, the ministry said that India's actions, besides being a major encroachment of Chinese territory, posed a challenge to peace and stability in the region and normal global border. The number of Indian soldiers went up to 400, and three tents were also pitched by them as part of the stand-off.

According to the article, India is trying to replace Pakistan with China as a threat as the former's giant gap with India makes it a wrong choice of enemy.

Hardware has been moved simultaneously by road and rail by China's western theatre command, which oversees the restive regions of Xinjiang and Tibet, and handles, among others, border issues with India, media reports have said.

As of late July, there were still over 40 Indian border troops and one bulldozer on Chinese territory, it added.

In a document, China on Wednesday dismissed India's claims that China was attempting to change the status quo of the border, and called Indian troops attempts to transgress into Chinese territory was had "gravely undermined peace and tranquility of the China-India border area".

The writer also alleged that India is illegally occupying large swathes of Chinese territory and fears that the Chinese army would retake it.

India's position on the issue was made clear by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj last month, saying both sides should first pull back their troops for any talks to take place, favouring a peaceful resolution of the border standoff.

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The fact sheet said that no such attempt would be tolerated by any sovereign state. "China did not cross the boundary in its road building, and it notified India in advance in full reflection of China's goodwill", the ministry said.

The non-paper was pitched by the Indian side during the meeting between Special Representatives on the boundary issue on May 10, 2006.

Analysts say that China's formal position to end the stand-off has not shifted, notwithstanding the July 27 talks in Beijing between National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi.

The foreign ministry warned that "no country should ever underestimate the resolve of the Chinese government and people to defend China's territorial sovereignty".

The fact sheet said China values the growth of good- neighbourly and friendly relations with India and is committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border area between the two countries.

However, New Delhi has cited a statement by Bhutan's foreign ministry underscoring that the construction of the road "inside Bhutanese territory" is a direct violation of the 1988 and 1998 agreements between Bhutan and China.

It also dismissed India's contention that the road building at the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan had serious security implications for New Delhi.