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China slams India over Doklam row

 BEIJING, July 18 - India should not use “trespass” into the Doklam area in the Sikkim sector as a “policy tool” to achieve its “political targets”, China said today, asking New Delhi to immediately withdraw its troops to avoid any escalation of tension.

The foreign ministry also said it was in “close communication” with foreign missions in Beijing on the stand-off with India, but refused to confirm whether it held a special briefing for them on the issue.

“Since the illegal trespass by Indian border personnel, many foreign diplomats in China felt shocked about this and (wanted) to confirm whether it was true,” the ministry’s spokesman Lu Kang said when asked about the reported briefing.

“The Chinese side maintains close communication with the foreign diplomatic missions on the issues they are interested,” Kang told reporters.

China reportedly held a “closed-door briefing” last week and conveyed their side of the story on the stand-off near the Bhutan tri-junction. The stand-off has continued for a month over the construction of a road by China near the tri-junction.

India has expressed concern over the road construction near the tri-junction, fearing it may allow Chinese troops to cut India’s access to its northeastern states. It has said the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India. – PTI

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