Nearly two months have passed since Indian troops illegally crossed the China-India boundary in Sikkim Sector, and there is no sign of withdrawal so far.
According to Xinhua, what the Indian side has done is committed seven “sins” against Chinese sovereignty and international law. These severe mistakes may trigger unpredictable consequences and greatly undermine regional peace and stability.
India’s military trespassing is an infringement of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. On June 18, Indian border troops, carrying weapons and driving bulldozers, illegally crossed the boundary in the Sikkim Sector at the Duo Ka La (Doka La) pass and entered Chinese territory.
For almost two months, India has maintained its military presence in the Doklam area, a place recognized by both India and the international community as part of the Tibet Autonomous Region and Chinese sovereign territory.
It is fundamentally different in nature from past frictions between the border troops of the two sides at an undefined part of the boundary.
The blatant move contravenes the 1890 Convention between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet, which has clearly delimited this part of the boundary between the Tibet Autonomous Region and India’s Sikkim State.
Every Indian government since independence has confirmed the boundary as it stands under the Convention. It is hard to understand why India abandons its previous position at this time.
Once a boundary is established by a convention, it is under the protection of international law. It is obvious that India’s military invasion, under the pretext of so-called “security concerns,” tramples on the principles of the law as well as international order and cannot be tolerated by any sovereign state.
Since the incident broke out, India has invented various excuses to whitewash its illegal move and smear China’s normal and legitimate activities, but its arguments have no factual or legal grounds and are simply untenable.
India has argued that China’s building of roads would represent a “significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India,” but the fact is, Chinese construction is being conducted within its own territory. It is India that has broken the status quo by trespassing onto Chinese soil.
Even more ridiculous, India has attempted to justify its incursion in the name of “protecting Bhutan,” arguing that Doklam is Bhutanese territory.
The fact is that the Bhutanese authorities have clearly told Chinese officials that Doklam is not Bhutan’s territory and expressed bewilderment at India’s trespassing into Chinese soil.
Matters concerning the China-India-Bhutan boundary tri-junction have nothing to do with this incident. By kidnapping an unrelated third party to stir up troubles in the border area, India seeks to obstruct border negotiations between China and Bhutan.
China has a strong will to solve the problem peacefully, but the prerequisite is that the Indian trespassers must withdraw unconditionally and immediately. China will never negotiate with an invading force when its national territorial integrity remains infringed.
The Indian side keeps playing lip service of seeking diplomatic channels to resolve the issue while refusing to withdraw its troops.
India must be fully aware that as a reckless intruder to its neighbors, it should take responsibility for inflaming border tensions and swallow possible consequences.