He was responding to queries by Indian journalists about recent articles published by the state-run Global Times quoting an expert Hu Zhiyong — research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.
"This kind of reports represents the view of the media and think-tanks. For official information please refer to the statements of foreign ministry and defense ministry spokespersons," Col. Ren Guoqiang, spokesman, China’s Defense Ministry said.
The Chinese defense ministry spokesman, however, echoed what other Chinese leaders and officials have been saying that Indian troops must withdraw from the disputed spot in Doklam. He reiterated that India should not underestimate Beijing’s resolve to defend its territory.
"We have all the legitimate rights to construct the road in Chinese territory," he said.
Ren claimed that China had informed India in advance about the road building activity in mid-May, although no evidence in this regard was presented to visiting Indian journalists. He was countered “Why did China feel the need to inform India if it regarded the area as Chinese territory?” to which he responded that it was done out of goodwill.
"We have a mechanism under the 2012 agreement for handling such disputes and both sides should work under its spirit. What we see in Global Times and other English media publications from China should not be construed as the opinion of the Chinese government. China also knows that India is having an advantage in the Doklam region. They may have an advantage in the other sectors, but not in the Doklam region,” Dr Swaran Singh, Professor at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, told Sputnik.
China and India have been locked in a standoff in the Doklam area – a tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan, since mid-June this year after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the area.