China on Tuesday did not contradict Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat’s claim that it has significantly reduced the number of troops in Doklam. Beijing, however, re-asserted its claims over Doklam and said patrolling and stationing of troops in the region was its sovereign right. “The Chinese border troops’ patrolling and stationing in the Dong Lang area is exercising sovereignty rights in accordance with the stipulations of historical conventions and upholding the territorial sovereignty,” the Foreign Ministry told IANS, when asked about Rawat’s remarks. “The Dong Lang area has all along been part of China and under China’s continuous and effective jurisdiction. There is no dispute in this regard,” the ministry said in a statement.
Gen Rawat on Monday said there was a major reduction of Chinese troops in Doklam. India and Chinese armies were locked in a 73-day stand-off at Doklam in the Sikkim section of their border. The crisis was resolved in August last year after both sides retreated from the point of the face-off. But the Chinese beefed their presence in the plateau claimed by Thimpu and Beijing.