June 30,2017--Chinese foreign ministry on Wednesday and Thursday said that China has put off arranging for Indian officially-organized pilgrims’ journey to Tibet as an emergency measure in response to the change of the situation caused by the Indian border troops' trespass. The reopen of the pilgrimage route totally depends on whether the Indian side can correct its mistake in time.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu kang made the remarks when journalists asked about when China will reopen the Nathu-la pass for Indian pilgrims’ travel to Tibet. The background is that the Indian border troops recently crossed the China-India boundary at the Sikkim section and entered the Chinese territory, obstructing Chinese border troops' normal activities in Doklam.
Lukang said that in the light of the consensus between leaders of China and India, and the fact that the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary has been delimited as recognized by both countries, the Chinese side approved the opening of the pilgrimage route via the Nathu-la pass in the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary for officially-organized Indian pilgrims in 2015. The arrangements ran well over the past two years, and the relevant department of China has previously made preparation for this year's reception.
However, the Indian border troops illegally crossed into the Chinese territory at the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary. The Indian side is to blame for the trip not being able to take place as scheduled. Indian pilgrims' trip to Tibet requires necessary atmosphere and conditions. As for when the pilgrimage route will reopen, it totally depends on whether the Indian side can correct its mistake in time.
The spokesperson stressed that the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary was defined by the Convention between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet in 1890. In accordance to the convention, "the boundary of Sikkim and Tibet shall be the crest of the mountain range separating the waters flowing into the Sikkim Teesta and its affluents from the waters flowing into the Tibetan Mochu and northwards into other rivers of Tibet. The line commences at Mount Gipmochi on the Bhutan frontier, and follows the above-mentioned water-parting to the point where it meets Nepal territory."
Besides, Doklam has been a part of China since ancient times. That is an indisputable fact supported by historical and jurisprudential evidence, and the ground situation. China's activities in Doklam are acts of sovereignty on its own territory.The spokesperson provided following pictures showing the trespass of the Indian border troops at the Sikkim section.
The spokesperson said that China has repeatedly lodged solemn representations with the Indian side both in Beijing and Delhi since the trespass took place. The Indian side should abide by the existing boundary convention, respect China's territorial sovereignty, and immediately bring the border troops that have crossed into China back to the Indian side of the boundary, so as not to worsen the situation and land itself in a more passive position.