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Sikkim standoff: Bhutan rejects Beijing's claim that Doklam belongs to China

On Wednesday, China’s top diplomat Wang Wenli reportedly told a visiting Indian media delegation that Bhutan has conveyed to Beijing through the diplomatic channels that the area of the standoff is not its territory.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: August 10, 2017 13:05 IST ]
Image Source : PTI India-China border standoff

The government of Bhutan today rejected Chinese claims that it had conveyed to Beijing through the diplomatic channels that the Doklam area was not its territory, news agency ANI reported.

"Our position on the border issue of Doklam is very clear. Please refer to our statement which has been published on the web site of Bhutan's foreign ministry on June 29, 2017," ANI quoted its official sources in the Bhutanese Government as saying.

On Wednesday, China’s top diplomat on the border dispute, Wang Wenli, reportedly told a visiting Indian media delegation that Bhutan has conveyed to Beijing through the diplomatic channels that the area of the standoff is not its territory although she did not provide any evidence in support of her claim. 

“After the incident, the Bhutanese made it very clear to us that the place where the trespassing happened is not Bhutan’s territory,” Wang Wenli was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Wang Wenli further alleged that the Bhutanese find it very strange that the Indian border troops are on the Chinese soil and claimed that her views have been gleaned from Bhutanese state media and legal blogs which have “more convincing information”.

According to ANI, its official sources in Bhutan government have firmly denied Chinese claims by pointing out that Thimphu had clearly stated its stand on this matter in a statement on June 29, 2017 which was also posted on the web site of Bhutan's foreign ministry.

"Bhutan has conveyed to the Chinese side, both on the ground and through the diplomatic channel, that the construction of the (motorable) road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the (written) agreements (of 1988 and 1998) and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between our two countries," the Bhutanese foreign ministry statement said. 

ANI further quoted its sources as saying that the statement is clear that the agreements of 1988 and 1998 also state that both sides "will refrain from taking unilateral action, or use of force, to change the status quo of the boundary and Bhutan hopes that the status quo in the Doklam area will be maintained as before 16 June, 2017."

India has also supported the statement issued by the government of Bhutan and pointed out that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the 1988 and 1998 agreements between Bhutan and China and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between these two countries.

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