China-India Stand-off Escalated, Chinese State Media Calls for Sikkim's Independence

Nehru blamed China for illegal claiming of Doka La in 1959

China and Bhutan have held 24 rounds of talks, he noted.

In contrast, the first statement from Bhutan was on June 29, followed by a comment from the Indian external affairs ministry the next day.

India's prime minister Narendra Modi (R) will meet with United Kingdom prime minister Theresa May again.

The current standoff began last month when a column of Chinese troops accompanied by construction vehicles and road-building equipment began moving south into what Bhutan considers its territory. The Royal Bhutanese army confronted them, but they were pushed back.

"The latest incident happened at a section that has always been demarcated by an 1890 historical convention and reaffirmed in documents exchanged between successive Chinese and Indian governments since then".

Luo Zhaohui also stressed Indian troops should unconditionally pull back to the Indian side.

"China attaches great importance to the China-India relations and is ready to develop a long-term stable strategic partnership for cooperation with India". However, India asserts that only the alignment of the border at the watershed line had been agreed.

The daily said creating trouble for India in Sikkim and neighbouring Bhutan was one of the "tools" to deter New Delhi from "provocations".

Stressing that India must withdraw its troops and stop instigating Bhutan, it went on to say that China wants to sort the issue in a peaceful manner, which "must lead to legitimate and justified outcomes". The standoff on Indo-China border at Sikkim has escalated further with these political developments. The contentious road runs within the disputed Doklam Plateau, on the undetermined border between Bhutan and China.

In an editorial headlined "India Would Bear Brunt of New Border Clash", China's outspoken nationalist tabloid Global Times ramped up the rhetoric July 5 by saying that China was in no mood to make concessions. Bhutan, however, has no diplomatic ties with China and it is supported militarily and diplomatically by India. India boycotted China's recent Belt and Road Forum because, as it said, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a network of energy pipelines and industries that extends from the Port of Gwadar in Pakistan to Xinjiang Province in China, passes through territory that India claims. "There are those in Sikkim that cherish its history as a separate state, and they are sensitive to how the outside world views the Sikkim issue", the editorial read.

"The Indian military can choose to return to its territory with dignity, or be kicked out of the area by Chinese soldiers", said the paper, which is published by the ruling Communist Party flagship People's Daily. China was not in the list since the beginning, so there is no question of China cancelling the meeting with Modi.



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