MOSCOW, (Sputnik) – With 53 Personnel and a bulldozer staying illegally in Chinese Territory, India continues to seriously violate China’s sovereignty, a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
“As of August 7, India still has 53 Personnel and one bulldozer staying illegally in Chinese Territory. China want to stress that India must withdraw all of its personnel and equipment to the Indian side of the border. No matter how many Indian soldiers remain in Chinese territory, it is still a serious violation of China’s sovereignty,” the statement, as quoted by the Overseas Edition of People’s Daily Newspaper, said.
Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi said on July 25 that India must pull its military units back from Chinese territory in Donglang at the Indian-Chinese border near the state of Sikkim to deescalate tensions.
India and China have been locked in a border standoff since mid-June. The confrontation occurred after Indian troops blocked the construction of a road carried out by China in the disputed area of Donglang, where Delhi supports Bhutan’s territorial claims.
China insists that the territorial dispute in Sikkim was resolved as long ago as in 1890, when China and the British Empire signed the so-called Convention of Calcutta defining the borders in Sikkim. However, India-backed Bhutan is convinced that Beijing’s attempt to extend a road to the Donglang area runs counter to a China-Bhutan agreement on maintaining peace in the region until the dispute is resolved.
Border face-offs between Indian and Chinese troops occur on an almost daily basis at different parts along the 4,057-kilometer (about 2,521 miles) Line of Actual Control between the two nations. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) clashed with Indian forces twice in the Sikkim region in 1967. Sikkim became an Indian State in 1975 and China indirectly recognized India’s control over Sikkim in 2003, upon agreement that India accepts Tibet as part of China.