Chinese Defence Ministry demands immediate pull back of Indian troops in Doklam standoff

BEIJING - The Defence Ministry of China has urged India to immediately withdraw its troops to the Indian side of the boundary, as the military standoff in the Doklam region drags on.

The remarks were by ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang, in a statement on the ministry's website late on Thursday (Aug 3) night.

Mr Ren called on the India side to swiftly address the situation in a proper manner to restore peace and tranquility in the border region, according to Xinhua news agency.

He added that China has shown utmost goodwill and sought to communicate with India through diplomatic channels since the incident happened almost two months ago.

Armed forces from China have also shown a high level of restraint, said Xinhua, quoting Mr Ren. He added that goodwill has its principles and restraint has its bottom line.

The two sides' troops are confronting each other close to a valley controlled by China that separates India from its close ally, Bhutan, and gives China access to the so-called Chicken's Neck, a thin strip of land connecting India and its remote northeastern regions, according to Reuters.

China's building of a road on its side in the disputed Donglang plateau - Doklam to India - triggered the standoff, with India sending troops into the area on June 16 in an attempt to halt the construction.

Indian analysts said the road threatens India's security as it brings China closer to Chicken's Neck.

On Thursday night, Mr Ren urged the Indian side to "give up the illusion of its delaying tactic, as no country should underestimate the Chinese forces' confidence and capability to safeguard peace and their resolve and willpower to defend national sovereignty, security and development interests, according to Xinhua.