Amid the standoff between the Indian and Chinese troops at the Sikkim border, dialogues between the two countries have been tense. China has criticised India for trespassing its territory by using Bhutan as an excuse, the Indian Express reported. Beijing has asked India to remove its troops. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spokesperson Geng Shuang told the paper that India entered the Chinese territory illegally and is taking Bhutan’s name. He said that China does not have any problem with ties between India and Bhutan, but it won’t tolerate encroachment on the Chinese territory. The dispute began when India intervened in the construction of a road at the Doklam region in Sikkim. This strategic area would pose serious security threats, the Indian government had said. The road would head towards the Bhutan army camp and would come in the way of distinguishing a boundary between India and China. According to the Indian Express, Bhutan had also opposed to its construction.
The verbal war began when the Chinese Ministry of Defence said that Indian should learn from ‘historical lessons,’ according to the Indian Express. Defence Minister Arun Jaitley had retaliated that India of 2017 is different from the India of 1962, referring to the Sino-Indian War for the disputed Himalayan border in which China had won. In response to Jaitley’s remark, Geng said that China in 2017 is also different from 1962 and would take the appropriate measures to protect its territory. He also told the paper that India has betrayed the 1890 Sino-British Treaty and must pull out the border troops in the Sikkim region.
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There has not been any word about a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the G20 summit in Hamburg which is scheduled to happen this week. Geng told the paper that diplomatic communication between the two countries would be open and smooth. Ajit Doval, India’s National Security Adviser, will be visiting Beijing on July 26 to attend a BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) meeting of NSAs. He may discuss the issue with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, according to the Indian Express.