China on Wednesday said the stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops on the border smacked of New Delhi’s “hidden agenda” of meddling in Bhutan’s internal affairs. Beijing said only India can judge if it was interfering in Bhutan’s internal affair by obstructing road construction in Donglong or Doklam, the disputed region between China and Bhutan where Indian and Chinese troops faced-off each other. China has no diplomatic ties with Bhutan where India is said to have considerable influence. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said there was no dispute about Donglong which belonged to China and not to India or Bhutan. “The region (Donglong) is part of China and is indisputable. It belongs to China from ancient times and it doesn’t belong to Bhutan.” Lu said. The region is located at the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction where Chinese troops reportedly destroyed two Indian Army bunkers.
“If India wants to raise an issue on it, I would say it doesn’t belong to India and neither does it belong to Bhutan. We have a complete legal basis for this. “Bhutan is an internationally recognised country and its sovereignty is to be respected. Even if the boundary is delimited, no third party should interfere and make irresponsible comments.” Asked if he was referring to India, Lu said: “Only Indian side can judge if they are interfering with the internal affairs of Bhutan. If any third party out of hidden agenda interferes, it is disrespect to the sovereignty of Bhutan.” China has accused Indian troops of “trespassing” its boundary and asked them to retreat. It has suspended the pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in Tibet.
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“The suspension of the same is an emergency response to the situation there. I want to stress that the resumption of pilgrims pass requires necessary atmosphere and conditions.” Lu said. “So the liability of the same totally lies on the Indian side and when it will be reopened depends on the when or whether the Indian side will correct its errors.” China on Tuesday said it had lodged diplomatic protests with India over the development.