Beijing: Amid reports in the state-run media of China contemplating a “small-scale military operation” to evict Indian troops from Doklam within two weeks, a top army official declined to confirm them, but said that India should withdraw its soldiers unconditionally.
“These kind of reports represent the view of the media and think-tanks. For official information please refer to the statements of foreign ministry and defence ministry spokespersons,” China’s Defence Ministry spokesman, Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, told an Indian media delegation here.
He was asked to comment on a report by the state-run Global Times, quoting a think-tank, that China was contemplating a “small scale military operation” to dislodge Indian troops from Doklam within two weeks.
In his two-hour-long interaction with the Indian media delegation that is being hosted by the official All China Journalists Association (ACJA), Col Ren took pains to make the case that Doklam was Chinese territory and Beijing had “ample legal and historical proof”.
“We have all the legitimate rights to construct a road in Chinese territory,” he said, referring to the action on June 16 which caused Indian troops to intervene to stop road construction in Doklam.
Accusing the Indian troops of illegally crossing into Chinese territory, he reiterated China’s stand that the Indian side should withdraw its troops “immediately and unconditionally”.
Col Ren also questioned why India maintained silence over China’s plans to build the road even after Beijing informed New Delhi twice. He said China informed India on May 18 and followed it on June 8. The Chinese Foreign Ministry earlier said that the information was conveyed through the border meeting mechanism.
He had a word of praise for the border meeting mechanism, saying it was a “very mature and stable border exchange mechanism between China and India”.