In its strongest statement yet on the standoff in Doklam, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) today said it would “safeguard China’s sovereignty whatever the cost”, and demanded a withdrawal of Indian troops as the basis for resolution.
The PLA also said it had undertaken an “emergency response” measure in response to the incident and would further step up deployments in the area.
At a special briefing ahead of the PLA’s 90th anniversary which falls on August 1, the PLA put out a strong message on the Doklam stand-off and told India to “have no illusions”.
“The history of the PLA over the past 90 years has proven our resolve to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity, and our capability and resolve are indomitable,” Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defence said.
Senior Colonel Wu defended China’s road construction on the Doklam plateau, which China calls Donglang.
“In the middle of June, the Chinese military was undertaking the construction of a road. Donglang is China’s territory and China building a road on its territory is normal, which is an act of China’s sovereignty and is legitimate.”
WITHDRAWAL OF TROOPS REMAINS THE MOOT POINT
“The crossing of the mutually recognised international border by India is a serious violation of China’s territory and runs against international law. The willingness and resolve of China to defend its sovereignty is indomitable and we will safeguard our sovereignty whatever the cost,” he said.
Senior Colonel Wu said that the Chinese border troops “have undertaken emergency response measures in the area and will further step up deployment and training in response to this situation.”
“We strongly urge the Indian side to withdraw its troops back from the border line of the two countries. This is the basis for settling the issue,” he said, adding that “peace and security of border areas conform with the interest of both Chinese and Indian people.”
“We strongly urge the Indian side to take concrete measures to correct its errors and put an end to its provocative acts, and join with the Chinese side to jointly maintain peace and stability in border areas,” he added.