China on Tuesday ruled out any compromise with India over the border standoff in the Sikkim sector, instead putting the onus on New Delhi to resolve the “grave situation”, PTI reported. China’s Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui said “the ball is in India’s court” and that it was for the Indian government to decide what options could be on the table to resolve the standoff.
Asked about remarks by state-owned Chinese media that the conflict can lead to a war if not handled properly, Luo said in an interview with PTI, “There has been talk about this option, that option. It is up to your government policy [whether there will be a war]”.
While claiming that the Chinese government wants a peaceful resolution to the conflict, Luo however asserted that withdrawal of Indian troops from the area is a “pre-condition” for such peace. “The first priority is that the Indian troops unconditionally pull back to the Indian side of the boundary,” Luo said. “That is the precondition for any meaningful dialogue between China and India….the situation is grave and has me deeply worried. It is the first time that Indian troops have crossed the mutually recognised boundary and trespassed into China’s territory, triggering a close range face off between Chinese and Indian border troops. Now 19 days have passed, but the situation still has not eased.”
Luo also claimed that India had no right to interfere with the China-Bhutan boundary talks, and was not entitled to make territorial claims on behalf of Bhutan. He also dismissed the Indian Foreign Ministry’s statement that the situation would have serious security implications for it. “India cannot encroach upon the territory of other countries on the ground of its ‘security concerns’,” Luo said. “Otherwise, the world would be in chaos. It is critical that India shall withdraw its troops immediately to minimise the negative impact. It serves the interests of the two sides.”
India and China have both maintained that troops from the other country transgressed into their territory. Bilateral ties have been strained since the Indian Army blocked construction of the road by China in Doklam area.
New Delhi has made it clear that it will not allow China to construct a motorable road till the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction through the Doklam plateau. On Friday, the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through the Nathu La pass in Sikkim was cancelled amid the continuing standoff between Indian and Chinese troops on the border.