India acknowledged on Friday its troops had worked in coordination with the Bhutan government to ask a Chinese construction party to “desist from changing the status quo” by building a road in Donglang area. India and Bhutan have asked China to maintain status quo, with Delhi saying construction activity has “serious security implications”.
New Delhi has also said any move to “unilaterally determine tri-junction points” violates a 2012 India-China agreement to finalise the boundary in this region in consultation with all concerned countries.
China, of course, has claimed the Donglang area has been with it since “ancient times”.
“There is solid legal evidence to support the delimitation of the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary. It is stated in article one of the Convention Between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet (1890) that ‘the boundary of Sikkim and Tibet shall be the crest of the mountain range separating the waters flowing into the Sikkim Teesta and its affluents from the waters flowing into the Tibetan Mochu and northwards into other rivers of Tibet’,” Chinese state media reported after the standoff began. “The line commences at Mount Gipmochi on the Bhutan frontier, and follows the abovementioned water-parting to the point where it meets Nepal territory,” the report added.
The foreign ministry has repeatedly said the spot where Indian border troops “trespassed” is Chinese territory.
The state media also reported that China and successive Indian governments had recognised that the Sikkim section of the boundary “has been delimited”.
This, the report said, had been “confirmed by Indian leaders, the relevant Indian government document and the Indian delegation at the special representatives’ meeting with China on the boundary question that India and China share common view on the 1890 convention’s stipulation on the boundary alignment at the Sikkim section”.