China on Monday responded to Defence Minister Arun Jaitley's remarks that India of 2017 is different from what it was in 1962, saying it too is different and will take "all necessary measures" to safeguard its territorial sovereignty. Reacting to China’s oblique reference to the war the two countries had fought 55 years ago and asking India to learn from "historic lessons", Jaitley had said last week, "If they are trying to remind us, the situation in 1962 was different an India of 2017 is different."
The war of words came amid the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Sikkim sector. He had also said that the current standoff was triggered by Beijing. Responding to Jaitley's remarks, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said,"He is right in saying that India in 2017 is different from 1962, just like China is also different."
Shuang said the Sino-India border in the Sikkim sector is well demarcated and the Indian Army's action there is a "betrayal" of the position taken by successive Indian governments.
"Former Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru endorsed the 1890 Sino-British Treaty on Sikkim in a letter to the then Chinese counterpart Zhou Enlai in 1959. Successive Indian governments have also endorsed this," Shuang said at a media briefing.
"The India-China boundary in the Sikkim section is well demarcated. The action taken by India is a betrayal of the position taken by the Indian governments," he said.
He said India needs to observe the treaty and pull back troops immediately from Doklam.
"I would like the Indian side to respect the 1890 treat immediately and pull back the border troops which have crossed into Chinese territory back to the Indian side of the boundary.
"China will take all necessary measures to safeguard it territorial sovereignty," he warned.
Geng also accused India of using Bhutan as a "cover up for the illegal entry" into the Doka la area over which Bhutan has lodged a protest with the Chinese government.
"In order to cover up the illegal entry of the India border troops, to distort the fact and even at the expense of Bhutan's independence and sovereignty, they try to confuse right from wrong, that is futile," Geng said.
He said China has "no objection to normal bilateral relations between India and Bhutan but firmly opposed to the Indian side infringing on Chinese territory using Bhutan as an excuse."
"The Bhutan side does not know previously that the India troops entered into the Doklam area, which is not in line with what is claimed by the Indian side," Geng said.
Asked whether any talks are going on between India an China to resolve the Sikkim standoff, Geng said, "After the illegal entry of border took place, China has lodged solemn representations at different levels with the Indian side in Delhi and Beijing."
"The line of diplomatic communication between two side is open and smooth," he said.
China accused Indian troops of transgressing into the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector, which it claims as a part of its territory.
Bhutan also claims the area as a part of its territory. China also said it has closed the Nathu La route in Sikkim for Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims from India.
"The other route to Tibet through Lipu lake is open as it is located in the middle section where there is no dispute, Geng said.
China has cancelled a trip of Indian journalists to Tibet, this was conveyed to the scribes by the Chinese embassy in New Delhi.
A batch of Indian journalists who were to visit Tibet from July 8-15 at the invitation of the Chinese government were informed by the Chinese embassy in New Delhi that the trip has been cancelled.
China every year organises sponsored visit for select Indian journalists to Tibet.