Question: There have been allegations by both the PLA and Indian military about incidents at the Sikkim sector of the India-China border in which China has alleged that Indian border troops crossed the border to prevent the construction of a road. Both sides have been holding talks on the issue at both the foreign ministry level and the defense ministry level. Do you have any comments on the progress of the talks? Bhutan has alleged that China actually violated its territory to build a road at the Doklam sector of the Sikkim region. The Indian military has also alleged that the PLA forces entered what was specified to be Indian side and destroyed some bunkers by using bulldozers. I would like to have your comments on these issues.
Answer: The Indian border defense personnel crossed the boundary at the Sikkim sector of the China-India border and entered the Chinese territory. They tried to stop the normal activity of the Chinese border defense troops in the Doklam region. The Chinese frontier defense troops have taken proportionate measures in response to firmly safeguard China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
When it comes to the second question, I have to correct you on the place where the incident took place. It is within the territory of China. We have made it clear to the Indian side that they should correct their mistakes and withdraw all the Indian personnel from the Chinese territory.
Question: Indian media reported on June 8th that Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat said that India is prepared for a “two and a half front war” against China, Pakistan and its internal security threats . What is your comment?
Answer: Such remarks from the Indian Army Chief are extremely irresponsible. We hope that particular individual in the Indian Army could learn lessons from the past and stop such dangerous clamor for war.
i.On 16 June, a PLA construction party entered the Doklam area and attempted to construct a road. It is our understanding that a Royal Bhutan Army patrol attempted to dissuade them from this unilateral activity. The Ambassador of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) has publicly stated that it lodged a protest with the Chinese Government through their Embassy in New Delhi on 20 June.
ii.Yesterday, the Foreign Ministry of Bhutan has also issued a statement underlining that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the 1988 and 1998 agreements between Bhutan and China and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between these two countries. They have urged a return to the status quo as before 16 June 2017.