China mum over Gen Rawat’s remarks on PLA troop reduction in Doklam

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China today shied away from a direct response to commentary by army chief General Bipin Rawat that there was a significant reduction of Chinese troops in Dokalam, but insisted that his troops stationed in the area were exercising “sovereign rights” ”

China and India met in a 73-day confrontation in Dokalam in the Sikkim sector that ended on August 28.

“The area of ​​Dong Lang (Dokalam) has always been part of China and under the continuous and effective jurisdiction of China, there is no dispute in this regard,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told the media. when asked about Rawat’s comments.

Rawat said yesterday that Indian and Chinese troops solved a problem about the recent attempt by Chinese teams to build a highway on the Indian side of the border in Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh.

Rawat also said that there was a large reduction of Chinese troops in the Dokalam area.

“Chinese border troops patrolling and parking in the Dong Lang area are exercising sovereign rights in accordance with the stipulations of historical conventions and the defense of territorial sovereignty,” Lu said, without commenting on troop reductions.

Lu also did not refer directly to Rawat’s comment that India and China have solved the problem related to the plans of Chinese troops to build a road to Indian territory in Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh in the last week of December.

Lu reiterated China’s claims about Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing says is part of south Tibet.

“My colleagues have answered the question about this many times, I need to reiterate that there is a big dispute in the eastern section of the China-India border,” said Lu.

“Then we must reach an agreement by consensus, but before we have to defend peace and security, we can properly resolve the relevant dispute through mechanisms already established and linked by historical agreements related to borders,” he said.

In Dokalam, China has been claiming that the area that was also claimed by Bhutan belonged to it.

The Dokalam clash, the longest in recent years between the two nations, ended after China agreed to stop road construction and India withdrew its troops.

But to the great surprise of India, China continued to deploy its troops in an area close to the site of fighting without taking into account its previous practice of withdrawing soldiers during the winter.