India is concerned with the recent actions of China in the Doklam area and has conveyed to the Chinese government that the construction of the road in Doklam area would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India, the ministry of external affairs stated in a press release yesterday.

Doklam is one of four disputed areas between Bhutan and China in the western region of Haa and Paro dzongkhags.

Following recent queries and reports on the Bhutan-China boundary in the Doklam area, the ministry of foreign affairs on June 29 issued a press release stating that Bhutan has conveyed to China, both on the ground and through the diplomatic channel that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the agreements and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between the two countries.

According to the foreign ministry, the Chinese Army had started constructing a motorable road from Dokala in the Doklam area towards the Bhutan Army camp at Zornpelri on June 16, 2017.

The press release from the ministry of external affairs, India, stated that Indian personnel in Doka La area continue with their efforts to approach Chinese construction party and urge them to desist from changing the status quo.

It also stated that India and China, in 2012, reached an agreement that the tri-junction boundary points between India, China and third countries will be finalised in consultation with the concerned countries. “Any attempt, therefore, to unilaterally determine tri-junction points is in violation of this understanding,” it stated.

It also stated that where the boundary in the Sikkim sector is concerned, India and China had reached an understanding in 2012, reconfirming their mutual agreement on the “basis of the alignment.” “Further discussions regarding finalisation of the boundary have been taking place under the Special Representative framework,” it stated.

The press release stated that it is important that the consensus reached between India and China through the Special Representatives process is scrupulously respected by both sides. “It is also essential that all parties concerned display utmost restraint and abide by their respective bilateral understandings not to change the status quo unilaterally,” it stated.

It states that India cherishes peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas. “It has not come easily. Both sides have worked hard to establish institutional framework to discuss all issues to ensure peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas and India is committed to working with China to find peaceful resolution of all issues in the border areas through dialogues.”

Staff reporter