China on Monday criticised Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat for calling Doklam a disputed territory, and said his “unconstructive” comments were not helping maintain peace at the border, PTI reported.
China’ Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang (pictured above) said Rawat’s statement went against the consensus Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached at the BRICS summit in September 2017.
On Friday, Rawat had said India needed to shift its focus from its borders with Pakistan to that of China. He also commented about how China’s construction of roads in north Doklam had been going on for years, but in June 2017 they came with a large amount of equipment and soldiers forcing India to intervene.
“Last year , India-China relations witnessed some twists and turns,” Lu said while referring to the Modi-Xi talks to improve the ties. In the backdrop of these dialogues, “the unconstructive remarks by the Indian senior official not only go against the consensus reached by the two heads of state, but also do not conform to the efforts made by the two sides to improve bilateral relations”, Lu said.
In December 2017, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj that the standoff between the two armies in Doklam had put “severe pressure” on bilateral relations. He was the first top Chinese official to visit India since the 74-day standoff between the Indian and Chinese troops that ended in August.
Last week, Pakistan too objected to Rawat’s comments about their nuclear power. Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said the Indian Army chief’s statement about Pakistan’s “nuclear bluff” was “an invitation for nuclear encounter”.