After Doklam, Beijing asks New Delhi to follow ‘historical conventions’

China has said it is committed to good relations with India and Bhutan but made it clear that New Delhi should follow “historical conventions” to maintain peace on the border.
Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema look on as Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with their son Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck during a meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday.(PTI Photo/ Twitter)
Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema look on as Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with their son Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck during a meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday.(PTI Photo/ Twitter)
Updated on Nov 02, 2017 09:35 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Beijing | BySutirtho Patranobis, Beijing

China on Thursday said it stood for “normal ties” between India and Bhutan, a day after President Ram Nath Kovind praised visiting the Bhutanese king in New Delhi for the kingdom’s support during the Doklam standoff.

In the context of the standoff, China’s foreign ministry reminded India to follow “historical conventions” and maintain peace along the border.

Reacting to the visit of Bhutan king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and his family to India, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “We are committed to developing good neighbourly relations with these two countries and we would like to see India and Bhutan developing normal relations.”

China and Bhutan have no diplomatic ties and are locked in territorial and border disputes in areas close to India’s borders.

The Bhutanese royal couple had called on Kovind on Wednesday, when the Indian president appreciated the king’s personal involvement and Bhutan’s support in addressing the recent India-China border row in Doklam area that lasted for more than 70 days.

The Doklam (Donglang) region is under China’s control but claimed by Bhutan, and Indian troops intervened when Chinese forces began constructing a road in the area.

Kovind told the Bhutanese king that the manner in which both countries stood together to address the situation in Doklam was clear testimony to the bilateral friendship.

During her response to the Bhutanese king’s visit to India, Hua brought in the Doklam standoff and reiterated Beijing’s stand, which is that Indian troops had trespassed into Chinese territory.  

“On the incident of the Indian troops trespassing the border, we have stated our position many times before. We believe that China and India properly settled this issue through diplomatic means consistent with our common interests,” she said.

“We hope India can follow historical conventions and work with China to ensure peace and tranquillity of the border area.”

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