China dismisses Jaishankar’s comment, says withdraw troops to resolve Sikkim standoff

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China has reiterated that the standoff in the Sikkim sector is “different” and to “settle disputes,” India should recall troops who crossed over the China-India boundary as it played down Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s remark that New Delhi and Beijing can manage their differences since the two countries have faced similar situations in the past.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang has urged India to unconditionally withdraw its troops to the Indian side of the boundary and stressed that the Sikkim section has a history and is a defined section of the China-India border.

The standoff can be resolved, the Chinese foreign ministry said, if India withdraws its troops from the Doklam region. The area at the strategic tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China, which is under Chinese control but claimed by Thimphu, has been the scene of a standoff since June 16.

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“China has repeatedly pointed out that the illegal trespass of Indian border troops of the mutually recognized border is different in nature from the frictions in the undefined sections of the boundary,” Geng added.

“The Sikkim section of the China-India boundary was defined by the Convention between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet in 1890. The section has been recognized by both China and India and this convention holds true for both countries,” Geng told at a regular press conference. The Foreign Minister added that the Sikkim section is the only defined boundary between India and China and is different from the undefined boundaries in the east, middle and west parts.

Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on Tuesday had said that both sides should not allow their differences to become disputes, and cautioned that the debate over the rise of these two powers should not be skewed. He further acknowledged the two countries can handle the disputes like they did so many times before, as “no part of the border has been agreed upon.