China Spews Threats Again Over Doklam Standoff, Says Will Safeguard 'Security Interests'
The Chinese foreign ministry said withdrawal of Indian border guards from Doklam was a precondition for resolving the situation.
Indian army soldiers are seen after a snowfall at the India-China trade route at Nathu-La, 55 km north of Gangtok, Sikkim. (File photo/REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri)
Beijing: China on Monday warned India not to harbour any illusions about the People's Liberation Army's ability to defend its territory.
"Shaking a mountain is easy but shaking the People's Liberation Army is hard," Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian was quoted as saying by Reuters.
“We will safeguard out sovereignty and security interests. I would like to remind the Indian side: Do not push your luck and do not hold any illusion,” he said.
Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a face-off in Doklam area in the southernmost part of Tibet for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road, fearing it may allow China to cut India's access to its northeastern states.
The two sides' troops then confronted each other close to a valley controlled by China that separates India from its close ally, Bhutan, and gives China access to the so-called Chicken's Neck, a thin strip of land connecting India and its remote northeastern regions.
India has conveyed to China that the construction of the road would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for New Delhi.
Wu said withdrawal of Indian border guards was a precondition for resolving the situation.
"India should not leave things to luck and not harbour any unrealistic illusions," Wu said, adding that the military had taken emergency measures in the region and would continue to increase focused deployments and drills.
This month, state media said China's military had carried out live fire drills close to the disputed area.
India has said it is ready for talks with China but it must first pull back its troops to end the tense standoff in the Sikkim sector, and called for a "peaceful resolution" of the border issues between the countries.
The US has said it is "closely and carefully" watching the Doklam standoff, urging the two Asian giants to engage in direct dialogue.
(With REUTERS Inputs)
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