BEIJING (Sputnik) – China will maintain a high combat readiness level in the disputed area of Doklam (Donglang) near the border with India and Bhutan after reaching an agreement with New Delhi on the disengagement of troops, Director of the Information Office of the Chinese Defense Ministry Wu Qian said on Monday.
Earlier in the day, China and India agreed on the accelerated withdrawal of troops from Doklam.
“On August 28, at 14:30 [06:30 GMT] the Indian party disengaged all its vehicles and personnel. The Chinese party at the scene confirmed this fact. The Chinese troops will maintain the high combat readiness level and will decisively protect the territorial sovereignty of the country,” Wu said in a televised address.
The Defense Ministry pointed out that the security and stability of the Chinese-Indian border was vital for regional and global security.
Beijing called on New Delhi to jointly ensure peace and stability in the border area, as well as to promote the development of normal relations between the countries’ Armed Forces.
India and China have been locked in a border standoff since mid-June. The confrontation began after Indian troops blocked Chinese road construction in the disputed area of Doklam near the Sikkim state, where Delhi supports Bhutan’s territorial claims.
China insists that the territorial dispute in Sikkim was resolved as long ago as in 1890, when Beijing and the British Empire signed the so-called Convention of Calcutta, which defined Sikkim’s borders. However, India-backed Bhutan is convinced that Beijing’s attempt to extend a road to the Doklam area goes against a China-Bhutan agreement on maintaining peace in the region until the dispute is resolved.