Beijing - China said on Thursday it was absurd for India to use the excuse of Chinese road-building to cross over their border, and accused India of militarising its side of the frontier.

A stand-off on a plateau next to the mountainous Indian state of Sikkim, which borders China, has ratcheted up tension between the neighbouring giants, who share a 3,500 km (2,175 miles) frontier, large parts of which are disputed.

According to the Chinese interpretation of events, Indian guards crossed into China’s Donglang region early in June and obstructed work on a road on the plateau.

Troops from the two sides then confronted each other close to a valley controlled by China that separates India from Bhutan - a close Indian ally - and gives China access to the so-called Chicken’s Neck, a thin strip of land that connects India to its remote northeastern regions. India has said it had warned China that construction of the road near their common border would have serious security implications.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, speaking at a daily news briefing, again urged India to withdraw its personnel to the Indian side “to avoid there being an even more serious situation creating even more serious consequences”.

Geng said China did not understand what reason India had for believing the road was a security risk, and that China had every right to build roads in its own territory. It was “ridiculous” for India to cross the border on the pretext of concern over the road, he added.

“Over the past few years it’s actually been India that has in the Sikkim sector of the China-India border who has been building a great number of facilities and deploying a large number of forces,” Geng said.

In some areas they have been building military facilities including fortifications, he added.

“I don’t know whether India has considered China’s security concerns while doing these things.”

Beijing has cancelled an upcoming bilateral meeting of its President Xi Jinping with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid a stand-off between the troops of both countries near the trisection of China, India and Bhutan borders. Chinese foreign ministry officials on Thursday said the ‘atmosphere’ was ‘not right’ for a bilateral meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, which begins on July 7, amid a standoff between the armies of the two countries in Sikkim, the northwestern Indian state.

Beijing and New Delhi have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for the past three weeks after a Chinese military’s construction team attempted to build a road. China says India militarising border as stand-off continues

Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region, according to the Press Trust of India. There were reports that Xi and Modi may meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit to resolve the standoff. Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Military spokesperson Geng Shuang expressed hope that “India can immediately withdraw the border troops to the Indian side of the boundary to uphold the pace and tranquility of the China and India border areas.”

“I think this is the pre-condition for any meaningful peace talks between the two sides,” Shuang replied when asked about the possibility of a Xi-Modi meeting on the sidelines of the summit.

Standoff near Sikkim

The spokesperson, however, said the BRICS leaders meeting which will be attended by both the leaders will take place on the sidelines of the summit. Shuang further said any relevant information on a possible meet up of the two leaders will be released in a timely manner.

China’s state-run media had yesterday quoted Chinese analysts as saying that Beijing would be forced to use a “military way” to end the standoff in the Sikkim if India refuses to listen to the “historical lessons” being offered by it.