New Delhi: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday said China will never compromise on its sovereignty and security and its army has the confidence to defeat “all invasions."
This is the second time in last three days that Xi has made such remarks, and it comes in the middle of a military standoff between China and India on the Dokalam plateau in Bhutan.
India objected to a Chinese road construction project in Dokalam after Chinese troops ignored Bhutanese protests, triggering the standoff from 16 June.
In his remarks, Xi, who was addressing a ceremony to mark the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Beijing did not refer to India or the standoff at Dokalam, but said: “ We will never allow any people, organisation or political party to split any part of Chinese territory out of the country at any time, in any form."
“The Chinese people love peace. We will never seek aggression or expansion, but we have the confidence to defeat all invasions," Xi said.
“No one should expect us to swallow the bitter fruit that is harmful to our sovereignty, security or development interests," he said at the ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People attended by Premier Li Keqiang and other top leaders of the ruling Communist Party and army officials.
On Sunday, addressing another PLA ceremony, Xi had spoken of the 2.3 million strong army’s capability to thwart invasions. “I firmly believe that our gallant military has both confidence and ability to defeat all invading enemies," he had said.
China has previously accused India of trespassing into its territory at Dokalam.
Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognizes as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region. Of the 3,488km India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-km section falls in Sikkim—situated across Dokalam.
India and China have a dispute over their boundaries dating back to the 1962 war and are in talks to resolve their differences.
Indian national security advisor Ajit Doval, who is India’s special representative for talks on the border dispute, visited Beijing in July for a meeting with his counterparts from Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS). During the visit, Doval also met his counterpart for border talks—Chinese state councillor Yang Jiechi—on the Dokalam crisis.