India’s Illegal Trespass Breaks International Law

China’s Position Concerning Indian Border Troops Crossing of the China-India Boundary in the Sikkim Sector was published on 2 August to allow the international community to become better acquainted with the facts of the issue, and to fully explain China’s stance on the matter

China on Wednesday released a position document on the Indian border troops’ illegal trespass into Chinese territory.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a press statement that China released the document to “lay out the facts and truth of the illegal trespass of the Indian border troops to the international community and give a full account of the position of the Chinese government.”

“What India has done not only severely violates China’s territorial sovereignty but also poses grave challenges to regional peace and stability and the normal international order, which will not be tolerated by any sovereign state,” Geng said.

India’s illegal trespass

On 18 June, over 270 Indian border troops, carrying weapons and driving two bulldozers, crossed the boundary in the Sikkim Sector at the Duo Ka La (Doka La) pass and advanced more than 100 meters into the Chinese territory to obstruct the road building of the Chinese side, causing tension in the area.

In addition to the two bulldozers, the trespassing Indian border troops, reaching as many as over 400 people at one point, have put up three tents and advanced over 180 meters into the Chinese territory.

After the outbreak of the incident, Chinese border troops took contingency response measures on the spot.

On 19 June, the Chinese side made prompt and serious representations with the Indian side through diplomatic channels to strongly protest and condemn the illegal trespass by the Indian side and demand the immediate withdrawal of the trespassing Indian border troops back to the Indian side of the boundary.

The spokespersons of the Chinese foreign and defense ministries spoke in public on various occasions, laid out the facts and truth, stated China’s position and released a map and on-the-scene photos showing Indian troops’ trespass.

As of August 2, there were still 48 Indian border troops and one bulldozer illegally staying in the Chinese territory. In addition, there are still a large number of Indian armed forces congregating on the boundary and on the Indian side of the boundary.

India’s action “severely violates” China’s territorial integrity and poses “grave challenges” to regional peace and stability.

 Indisputable Chinese Territory

 The China-India boundary in the Sikkim sector is delimited by the 1890 Convention between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet, and is recognized by both Chinese and Indian governments.

The area, located in Yadong county of the Tibet autonomous region, “has all along been part of China and under China’s continuous and effective jurisdiction”, the Foreign Ministry said in the paper. “There is no dispute in this regard.”

According to the 1890 convention, the area in question is indisputably Chinese territory. Once established, the boundary came under the protection of international law.

The unauthorized crossing of such a delimited boundary is a “very serious incident,” the document said.

Since the incident broke out, India has invented various excuses to justify its illegal action.

The fact that the Indian border troops illegally trespassed the boundary is irrefutable. Under such circumstances, instead of deeply reflecting on its mistakes, the Indian side fabricated such sheer fallacies as the so-called “security concerns”, the “issue of tri-junction” and “at the request of Bhutan” as excuses to justify its wrongdoing.

But its arguments have no factual or legal grounds at all and are simply untenable

China’s road building is being conducted entirely within Chinese territory and India has been kept fully informed of all proceedings throughout, a reflection of China’s goodwill in the matter.

Indian border troops have “obstructed the normal patrols along the boundary by Chinese border troops, and attempted to build military installations across the boundary” in recent years, the ministry said.

“The fact of the matter is it is India that has attempted time and again to change the status quo of the China-India boundary in the Sikkim Sector, which poses a grave security threat to China,” it said.

Mount Ji Mu Ma Zhen is the eastern starting point of the boundary in question and also the junction of the boundaries between China, India and Bhutan. The Indian incursion occurred more than 2,000 meters from Mount Ji Mu Ma Zhen and has nothing to do with the boundary junction.

As good neighbors, China and Bhutan have had several rounds of boundary talks, and as a third party, India has no right to interfere in or impede those talks, still less the right to make territorial claims on Bhutan’s behalf.

The action of the Indian side amounts to that of irresponsibility and recklessness.

No matter how many Indian border troops illegally trespassed the boundary and still stay in the Chinese territory, it will not alter the nature of severely violating China’s territorial integrity and contravening the UN Charter. This incident is illegal under the international law. The Indian side should bear corresponding responsibilities.

The Chinese side is convinced that the right cannot be wronged and justice will prevail.