China closes Sikkim border for Indians due security concerns

China closes Sikkim border for Indians due security concerns
BEIJING: China on Tuesday put off arrangements for Indian pilgrims’ entry into Xi Zang in the Sikkim section of the
China-India boundary out of security concerns after the Indian border troops’ illegal entry into Chinese territory.

“We have to put off arranging for Indian officially-organized pilgrims’ entry into Xi Zang via the Nathu-la pass out of security concerns. We have informed the Indian government through the diplomatic channel,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said during his regular press briefing here.

Responding to a question regarding entry of 300 pilgrims who were supposed to be undertaking pilgrimage in the next few weeks, he said recently, the Indian border troops crossed into the Chinese territory at the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary, and in response to that, the Chinese side had taken necessary and emergency measures.

“In the meantime, as for what is coming next, it is a matter of course that the Indian side should take necessary measures to alleviate the tension caused by their border troops’ illegal entry, and create conditions for their pilgrims’ travel to Xi Zang via the Nathu-la pass,” he added.

Lu Kang said he believed that the Indian public was fully aware of the enormous efforts made and the convenience provided by the Chinese government against all odds in the interests of China-India friendly relations.

When asked about any steps taken by Indian side to remove China’s concern, he said the spokespersons of both the Defence Ministry and the Foreign Ministry of China had made statement on Indian border troops’ trespass and provoking of troubles at the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary.

He said it was the Indian border troops who crossed into the Chinese territory and obstructed the Chinese border troops’ normal activities in Doklam and added, “We have taken proportionate measures in response.”

The spokesperson said the Chinese side had lodged representations with the Indian side both in Beijing and Delhi, expressing China’s solemn position.

“I must say that China is sincere about developing friendly relations with India but is also resolute in safeguarding its own sovereignty and interests,” he added.

He said the Chinese side hoped that the Indian side would work with it, take swift and correct measures to bring those who crossed into China back to the Indian side of the boundary.

After the press conference, responding to a question about evidence of delimitation of Sikkim section of China-India boundary, he said there was solid legal evidence to support the delimitation of the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary.

“Both China and the successive Indian governments recognize that
the Sikkim section has been delimited,” he added.

He said it had been confirmed by the Indian leader, the relevant
Indian government document and the Indian delegation at the special representatives’ meeting with China on the boundary question that
India and China shared common view on the 1890 convention’s stipulation on the boundary alignment at the Sikkim section.

“To observe the relevant convention and document is the inescapable international obligation of the Indian side,” he added.