India today declined to comment on China upping the ante on the Sikkim standoff and accused New Delhi of “trampling” on the Panchsheel principles and demanded withdrawal of Indian troops from the area. “I am not taking any questions other than pertaining to this visit (Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel),” Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said at a briefing here on Modi’s bilateral talks with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.
“The briefing is on this visit,” Jaishankar said when asked to comment on China’s recent aggressive comments amidst the standoff. In Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry today accused India of “trampling” on the Panchsheel principles and asked New Delhi to “correct its mistakes” as soon as possible by pulling back troops.
China also claimed that India was “misleading the public” by saying that Chinese troops are building a road close to the Chicken’s Neck in the Sikkim sector which could endanger India’s access to its north-eastern states. “I want to point that the relevant actions by the Indian side violated the purposes and principles of the UN Charter in defiance of the international law and international norms. As we all know in 1950s China, India and Myanmar proposed the five principles (Panchsheel) of co-existence,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Gen Shuang said. “However to the surprise of everyone, the Indian side trampled on the basic norms governing the international relations proposed by itself by illegally crossing into other country’s territory,” he said.
China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for past 19 days after a Chinese Army’s construction party attempted to build a road. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region. China’s state-run media yesterday had quoted Chinese analysts as saying that Beijing would be forced to use a “military way” to end the standoff in the Sikkim sector if India refuses to listen to the “historical lessons” being offered by it.
“China is trying its best to use historical lessons to reason with India and show sincerity in peacefully solving the problem, but if India refuses to listen, then China would have no other choice than to use a military way of solving the problem,” Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the state-run Global Times.