International

Sikkim standoff: Pull troops out voluntarily, or be captured or killed, China tells India

Beijing: Liu Youfa, former Chinese Consul General on Thursday has said that Indian troops deployed at the disputed Doklam/Donglang have three options: pull out voluntarily, be captured or be killed “should the border dispute escalate”.

For more than five weeks, the two countries (China and India) have been involved in a stand-off along a part of their 3,500 kilometres shared border. Since both the countries are populous and have very robust economies, and have fought a war over border disputes in 1962, the stand-off has attracted global media attention.

Both India and China have rushed more troops to the border as the divide between the two neighbouring countries is turning out to be one of the longest since the India-China war of 1962.

During a talk show, Liu told CGTN, the English channel of national broadcaster CCTV, that the current stand-off might be a part of the border dispute but “it is an invasion.”

“According to what I understand of international law, when people in uniform get across the border to move into the territory of the other side, they naturally become enemies who will have to face three consequences: First, they can go out voluntarily, or they may be captured or when the border dispute should escalate, they may be killed,” Liu said, as reported by Hindustan Times.

He also said China has been “patient” so far.

“The Chinese side is standing there waiting for India to make a sensible choice which is the first scenario,” Liu said.

The standoff between troops of India and China at Doklam area started after Bhutan, which has close diplomatic and military ties with India, protested to Beijing about the People’s Liberation Army troops building a road in the strategic location close to chicken neck tri-junction.

“Construction of the road by the Chinese government should not service the ground to send your troops across the border,” Liu said. India is building airfields and highway networks along the border.

“China and India are two great neighbours that cannot afford to be hostile to each other. Neither side should take the advantages of the concessions and the goodwill to move beyond reasonable limits,” he said.

Liu brushed aside India’s concerns about its security.

“Indian forces have stepped across the border with no warning. We have a saying: You have stepped into my front yard and when I ask you to move, you say you got to give me something to pull out. Is that logical?,” he asked.

On Thursday, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said in Rajya Sabha that all the countries, including Bhutan, are with India on the issue.

Swaraj said the issue is due to the “tri-junction point that is between India, China and Bhutan” and that if Beijing unilaterally tries to change the status quo at the tri-junction, then it will pose a threat to New Delhi’s security.

“India wants that troops are removed from the tri-junction point to discuss the issue together. All countries, including Bhutan, are with us,” Sushma said in Rajya Sabha on the fourth day of the Parliament Monsoon Session.

On Wednesday, Samajwadi Party leader and former defence minister Mulayam Singh Yadav claimed that China was ready to attack India in collaboration with Pakistan and asked the government to reverse its stand on the Tibet issue by supporting its independence.

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