Penpa Tsering, the Sikyong or President of the Tibetan Government-in-exile Tuesday asserted that all incursions along the Indo-Tibetan border have been one-sided and by China. In an interview to PTI, the President said since Tibet had signed the treaty of 1914 which set the border between his homeland and India along the McMohan line, Tawang was an integral part of India.

“We know incursions are happening all from the Chinese side,” Tsering said here.

He was speaking in the context of recent clashes at Tawang and at Ladakh between the Indian Army and China’s PLA.

“Till 1959, there was no border between India and China; it was with Tibet … We are signatories to the 1914 Simla agreement and we recognise the McMohan line as the legitimate border,” he said.

The Sikyong or President is directly elected by the Tibetan diaspora living in various parts of the world ever since Tibetan refugees fled the “roof of the world” in the wake of the Dalai Lama’s escape from Lhasa to India.

“China’s belligerence is without any provocation from the Indian side,” the President said, adding that “India standing up to its position sends a very strong message to China.” He pointed out that China has disputes with many Asian countries and has been unwilling to settle them.

“When it comes to US-China relations, they (the Chinese) complain they are not treated as equals but when it comes to other countries in Asia,” they never treat them equally, Tsering asserted.

He claimed China has a policy of keeping “hot spots like Taiwan and Tawang” burning in order to divert attention to its own failings.

He said that China had not been successful in keeping its economic momentum up and had not been able to control the Covid situation at home.

“Now that the whole world has recovered, they want to export Covid again,” Tsering said.