New Delhi: Bhutan refuted China's claim that its road construction in Sikkim sector's Donglang was "legitimate" and lodged formal protest with Beijing asking it to "stop the work immediately" near Bhutanese army camps. The Bhutan's objection comes amid the ongoing face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the Doklam (also known as Donglang) area of the Sikkim sector.
- Bhutan objects to China's road construction in Sikkim sector
- Lodges formal protest with Beijing, calls it "violation" of agreement
- This comes amid face-off between Indian, Chinese troops in Sikkim sector
Calling it a "violation of an agreement between the two countries", Ambassador of Bhutan to India Vetsop Namgyel on Wednesday said, "Doklam is a disputed territory and Bhutan has a written agreement with China that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, peace and tranquility should be maintained in the area."
"Donglang is part of China's territory. This is indisputable," said China on Wednesday, accusing India of "raising the issue" on part of Bhutan.
"The Donglang area belonged to China since ancient times and it doesn't belong to Bhutan. India wants to raise an issue with this part. I should say it doesn't belong to Bhutan, nor it belongs to India," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.
"If any third party, out of hidden agenda, interferes it is disrespect of the sovereignty of Bhutan. We don't want to see this as Bhutan is a country entitled to sovereignty by the international community," he said.
Amid the standoff, China on Tuesday blocked the entry of Indian pilgrims traveling to Kailash-Mansarovar in Tibet from the Nathu La pass, alleging that Indian troops have crossed the Sikkim border into Chinese territory and demanding their immediate withdrawal.
A Chinese government spokesperson said diplomatic protest was lodged with India both in New Delhi and Beijing.
There has been tension at the border after Chinese troops crossed into Indian territory earlier this month and destroyed an old makeshift bunker, leading to a face-off. China has alleged that the bunker it destroyed in remote Doko La, obstructed a road it is building in its territory.