In its first statement on the Indian Army’s on-going confrontation with a Chinese patrol and road construction party that began two weeks ago, New Delhi stated on Friday that it is “deeply concerned” at China’s attempt to alter the status quo, which could have “serious security implications” for India.
This refers to Sikkim’s proximity to the Siliguri Corridor – a narrow “chicken’s neck” that connects the northeast India with the rest of the country. China’s army edging toward this corridor constitutes a nightmare for Indian defence planners.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the recent act of Indian border troops recently ‘crossing’ into Chinese territory was described as “very serious” by a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, reported a Chinese Daily.
“The current situation is totally different from previous confrontations between the two countries’ border troops, which happened at an undefined China-India boundary,” spokesperson Geng Shuang said. The latest crossing occurred at the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary that had long been demarcated, Geng said, noting this section had been defined in the Convention Between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet in 1890.
According to the convention, the borderline commences at Mount Gipmochi in the east and follows the water-parting until it meets Nepal, Geng told a routine press briefing.
Documents between the Chinese and Indian governments show former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru admitted several times that the Sikkim-Tibet border was defined by the 1890 convention, on behalf of the Indian government, Geng said.
Geng said that Indian border troops overstepped the mutually recognised boundary line and crossed into the Chinese territory and that India’s move violated the 1890 convention, as well as the basic norms of the UN Charter and international laws.