China rejects India’s peace overture on Sikkim, offers to mediate on Kashmir

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China has rejected India’s peace overture over the ongoing stand-off at the border near Sikkim and even offered to mediate on Kashmir issue involving Pakistan.

While reacting to India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s remarks that the two countries will be able to handle the Sikkim standoff as they have dealt with such border differences in the past, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, said that China had pointed out many times that the Indian border troops “illegally trespassed” a mutually recognised border line.

“This is different from the frictions that happened in the undefined sections of the border region,” Geng told reporters.

He added, “China has pointed out many times that the illegal trespass into China’s territory across a mutually recognized borderline is different in nature to frictions that happened in undefined sections of the boundary. This is totally different from the undefined boundary in eastern, middle and western sectors.”

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In a bid to further provoke India, Geng also offered to mediate on Kashmir issue by saying that that it was willing to play a “constructive role” in improving relations between India and Pakistan.

India has always opposed the intervention of any third country over Kashmir dispute.

Jaishankar had said that India and China handled border issues in the past and there was no reason the two countries could not handle them this time.

“It is a long border, as you know no part of the border has been agreed upon on the ground. It is likely that from time to time there are differences,” Mr. Jaishankar said.

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Jaishankar was responding to questions on the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Dokalam area of the Sikkim sector at a lecture on ‘India-ASEAN and the Changing Geopolitics.’

The lecture was organised by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Indian High Commission.

Underlining that this was not the first time that China and India had border differences, Mr. Jaishankar said, “When such situations arise, I see no reason, when having handled so many situations in the past, we would not be able to handle it.”

Earlier this week, Chinese media had suggested that their country’s army could enter Kashmir on behalf of Pakistan.

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A “third country’s” Army could enter Kashmir at Pakistan’s request, using the “same logic” the Indian Army used to stop the Chinese military from constructing a road in the Doklam area in the Sikkim sector on behalf of Bhutan, an analyst at a Chinese think tank said.

China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Doklam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for the past three weeks after a Chinese Army’s construction party attempted to build a road. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Doklam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.

(With PTI inputs)

 

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