China warns Indian army to back-off from Doklam Border-video

India on Wednesday rejected China’s claim that the number of troops engaged in the Doklam standoff had fallen and insisted that peace and tranquillity at the border are an “important requisite” for smooth development of ties.

China’s foreign ministry issued a 15-page statement which said Indian troop numbers in the Donglang or Doklam region had fallen from a peak of more than 400 to about 40 at the end of July.

The statement also floated the idea that New Delhi and Beijing should sign a new boundary convention to replace the 1890 “Convention between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet” that is said to have demarcated the Sikkim boundary.

Hours after China pointed to the thinning out of troops, Indian government sources said there had been no withdrawal of Indian forces and the position on the ground remained unchanged.

“Neither has the Indian Army pulled back any troops nor has the force observed any withdrawal by the Chinese side. The status remains the same,” a source said. The sources said around 350 Indian troops have been deployed at Doklam for the past six weeks.

Responding to China’s statement which contended the face-off at Doklam was triggered in June by Indian troops “trespassing” into Chinese territory, the external affairs ministry spokesperson said: “India’s position on this issue and related facts have been articulated in our press statement of June 30, 2017.

“India considers that peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas is an important prerequisite for smooth development of our bilateral relations with China.”

The Indian statement of June 30 – the only official readout on the standoff that is in its second month – had expressed New Delhi’s concern at Beijing’s attempt to build a road in the India-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction that would “represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications”.