The Facts and China’s Position Concerning the Indian Border Troops’ Crossing of the China-India Boundary in the Sikkim Sector into the Chinese Territory

Source:Ministry of Foreign Affairs Editor:Li Jiayao 2017-08-02

11. The 1890 Convention has made it abundantly clear that the China-India boundary in the Sikkim Sector commences at Mount Ji Mu Ma Zhen on the Bhutan frontier. Mount Ji Mu Ma Zhen is the eastern starting point of the China-India boundary in the Sikkim Sector and it is also the boundary tri-junction between China, India and Bhutan. The Indian border troops’ trespass occurred at a place on the China-India boundary in the Sikkim Sector, which is more than 2,000 meters away from Mount Ji Mu Ma Zhen. Matters concerning the boundary tri-junction have nothing to do with this incident. India should respect the 1890 Convention and the eastern starting point of the China-India boundary in the Sikkim Sector as established by the Convention. It has no right to unilaterally alter the delimited boundary and its eastern starting point, still less should it violate China’s territorial sovereignty on the basis of its untenable arguments.

12. The stability and inviolability of boundaries is a fundamental principle enshrined in international law. The China-India boundary in the Sikkim Sector as delimited by the 1890 Convention has been continuously valid and repeatedly reaffirmed by both the Chinese and Indian sides. Either side shall strictly abide by the boundary which shall not be violated. The Chinese and Indian sides have been in discussion on making the boundary in the Sikkim Sector an “early harvest” in the settlement of the entire boundary question during the meetings between the Special Representatives on the China-India Boundary Question. This is mainly in view of the following considerations. The boundary in the Sikkim Sector has long been delimited by the 1890 Convention, which was signed between then China and Great Britain. China and India ought to sign a new boundary convention in their own names to replace the 1890 Convention. This, however, in no way alters the nature of the boundary in the Sikkim Sector as having already been delimited.

13. The Dong Lang area has all along been part of China and under China’s continuous and effective jurisdiction. There is no dispute in this regard. Since the 1980s, China and Bhutan, as two independent sovereign States, have been engaged in negotiations and consultations to resolve their boundary issue. The two sides have, so far, had 24 rounds of talks and reached broad consensus. Although the boundary is yet to be formally delimited, the two sides have conducted joint surveys in their border area and have basic consensus on the actual state of the border area and the alignment of their boundary. The China-Bhutan boundary issue is one between China and Bhutan. It has nothing to do with India. As a third party, India has no right to interfere in or impede the boundary talks between China and Bhutan, still less the right to make territorial claims on Bhutan’s behalf. India’s intrusion into the Chinese territory under the pretext of Bhutan has not only violated China’s territorial sovereignty but also challenged Bhutan’s sovereignty and independence. China and Bhutan are friendly neighbors. China has all along respected Bhutan’s sovereignty and independence. Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, the border area between China and Bhutan has always enjoyed peace and tranquility. China will continue to work with Bhutan to resolve the boundary issue between the two countries through negotiations and consultations in the absence of external interference.

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