China's defense ministry warned India not to harbor any illusions about the Chinese military's ability to defend its territory, amid a festering border dispute.
The stand-off on a plateau next to the mountainous Indian state of Sikkim, which borders China, has ratcheted up tension between the neighbors, who share a 3,500-km (2,175-mile) frontier, large parts of which are disputed. "Shaking a mountain is easy but shaking the People's Liberation Army is hard," ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a briefing, adding that its ability to defend China's territory and sovereignty had "constantly strengthened".
Early in June, according to the Chinese interpretation of events, Indian guards crossed into China's Donglang region and obstructed work on a road on the plateau.
The two sides' troops then confronted each other close to a valley controlled by China that separates India from its close ally, Bhutan, and gives China access to the so-called Chicken's Neck, a thin strip of land connecting India and its remote northeastern regions.
India has said it warned China that construction of the road near their common border would have serious security implications. The withdrawal of Indian border guards was a precondition for resolving the situation, Wu reiterated.
"India should not leave things to luck and not harbor any unrealistic illusions," Wu said, adding that the military had taken emergency measures in the region and would continue to increase focused deployments and drills.
"We strongly urge India to take practical steps to correct its mistake, cease provocations, and meet China halfway in jointly safeguarding the border region's peace and tranquility," he said.
Speaking later, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Ajit Doval, India's national security adviser, would attend a meeting in Beijing this week of security officials from the BRICS grouping that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Lu would not be drawn on whether the border issue would be discussed at the meeting, hosted by China's top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, meant to discuss multilateral issues.
"China hopes to maintain the peace and stability of the China-India border area, but certainly will not make any compromise on issues of territorial sovereignty," Lu said.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to visit China early in September for a summit of BRICS leaders. Indian officials say about 300 soldiers from either side are facing each other about 150 metres (yards) apart on the plateau.
They have told Reuters that both sides' diplomats have quietly engaged to try to keep the stand-off from escalating, and that India's ambassador to Beijing is leading the effort to find a way for both sides to back down without loss of face.
Chinese state media have warned India of a fate worse than its defeat suffered in a brief border war in 1962. China's military has held live fire drills close to the disputed area, they said this month. India and China have faced off frequently since fighting a bloody 1962 war that ended with China seizing control of some territory. Troops from both sides still regularly patrol other unmarked territories, though neither side has fired any shots in decades. Negotiations since 1985 to settle the boundary dispute have seen little success.
The land they're currently arguing over spans 269 square kilometers (104 square miles) on a sparsely populated plateau in western Bhutan, which has no diplomatic ties with China and coordinates its relations with Beijing through New Delhi. But India and China have rival claims to other Himalayan areas as well, including 90,000 square kilometers (35,000 square miles) in what India considers its state of Arunachal Pradesh and China refers to as "Southern Tibet," as well as 38,000 square kilometers (15,000 square miles) of another plateau called Aksai Chin.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.