In a new statement released late on Thursday, China said that it has shown utmost goodwill and a high-level of restraint over the military standoff in Sikkim's Doklam region but warned India that restraint also has a bottom line.

The statement from the Chinese defence ministry comes a day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in the Rajya Sabha that peace and tranquillity on the India-China border is an important pre-requisite for smooth development of our bilateral relations."

Swaraj had earlier made it clear that talks would take place only after both the countries withdraw troops from the Doklam region, also known as the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction.

The standoff began on June 16 after China accused Indian troops of entering Doklam and stopping the Chinese troops from constructing a road in the area. However, India responded by saying the border dispute is yet to be resolved and that China should "desist from changing the status quo."

India also accused China of building roads on the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction and its People's Liberation Army (PLA) of intruding into Indian territory in Sikkim and destroying bunkers, while China has claimed India is provoking them and the issue can be resolved only if India withdraws its troops.

India fears that the road-building activity would allow Chinese troops to cut its access to the seven states in the Northeast.

Chinese Army
Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) take part in a military parade to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the army at the Zhurihe military training base in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, July 30, 2017.Reuters

Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson of the Chinese defence ministry, has called on India to address the issue in a proper way to restore peace and tranquillity in the border region.

"Since the incident occurred, China has shown utmost goodwill and sought to communicate with India through diplomatic channels to resolve the incident. Chinese armed forces have also shown a high level of restraint with an eye to the general bilateral relations and the regional peace and stability," Guoqiang said, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.

He added: "However, goodwill has its principles and restraint has its bottom line." He also urged India to give up the "illusion of its delaying tactic, as no country should underestimate the Chinese forces' confidence and capability to safeguard peace and their resolve and willpower to defend national sovereignty, security and development interests."

Guoqiang said that the Chinese army will firmly protect the territorial sovereignty and security interests of China and that India must "immediately pull back trespassing troops".