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Ministry dismisses media report on Donglang

By WANG QINGYUN | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-11 06:46

The Foreign Ministry has dismissed a media report that China offered to reposition its troops to resolve the tension with India in the Donglang (Doklam) area.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that after India demanded Chinese troops pull back 250 meters, China counteroffered to move its troops back 100 meters.

The Spokesperson's Office told China Daily on Thursday that the report is not true. "China will not trade its territorial sovereignty under any circumstances," it said.

"China's position on solving this incident is clear and firm. India must immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its trespassing troops and equipment back to the Indian side of the border," the office said in a statement.

Sun Hongnian, a borderland expert of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, called the Reuters report "fake news" coming possibly from India, which "intends to turn Donglang into a disputed area".

Zhao Xiaozhuo, a researcher at the PLA Academy of Military Science, said China could never accept India's "totally unreasonable" demand.

India aims to nullify the Convention Between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet so it can change the only defined sector on the China-India boundary into an "undefined" one, Zhao said.

The Sikkim sector of the China-India boundary was defined in the convention signed in 1890 with Donglang being Chinese territory on the Chinese side of the border.

India had honored the convention until Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration refused, Zhao said.

Indian troops crossed into Donglang in mid-June to block Chinese road construction. It has tried to justify the incursion as being in a "tri-junction" between China, India and Bhutan.

"India's intrusion ... has not only violated China's territorial sovereignty but also challenged Bhutan's sovereignty and independence," the Foreign Ministry said earlier this month.

On Thursday, several Indian media cited anonymous sources as claiming that India's military had ordered immediate evacuation of an Indian village 35 kilometers from Donglang.

Zhou Jin contributed to this story.

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