Both India, China should pull back troops for talks: Sushma Swaraj in Parliament

India China standoff at Doklam: This redline by New Delhi sets the stage for a possible conversation between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi when they meet at the meeting of the NSAs from BRICS countries on July 27 and 28.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: July 21, 2017 4:35 pm
China, India, Sikkim, Bhutan, Doklam, Sushma Swaraj India China standoff at Doklam: Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said in the Rajya Sabha that both India and China need to pull back troops for any talks to happen. Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal New Delhi

For the first time since the start of the border standoff between India and China at the trijunction with Bhutan, New Delhi on Thursday spelt out its demand that both countries withdraw their troops from the faceoff point on the Doklam plateau. Beijing has been asking India to withdraw its troops before any talks while India has maintained that the issue should be resolved peacefully through dialogue.

This redline by New Delhi sets the stage for a possible conversation between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi when they meet at the meeting of the NSAs from BRICS countries on July 27 and 28. Sources told The Indian Express that the demand — articulated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Parliament Thursday — has been conveyed to the Chinese side through diplomatic channels.

Answering questions in Rajya Sabha, Swaraj said, “Agar Chin unilaterally us trijunction point ke status quo ko badal deta hai, toh phir seedhe seedhe hamari suraksha ko chunauti hoti hai… unki maang yeh hai ki hum apni senayein wahan se withdraw kar lein… hum yeh chahate hain ki agar samvaad chal raha hai ki agar baithkar koi baat-cheet karni hai, toh dono apni apni senayein hatayein. Bharat ki taraf se koi bhi unreasonable baat nahin ho rahi hai.”

(“If China unilaterally changes the status quo at the trijunction point, then that is a direct challenge to our security. Their demand is that we should withdraw our troops from there. We want that, if we are having a conversation, if we want to have talks, then both should withdraw their armies. From our side, there is no unreasonable demand.”)

On June 30, the Ministry of External Affairs, in a statement, said that India has consistently taken a positive approach to the settlement of its own boundary with China, along with the associated issue of the trijunction points. “India is committed to working with China to find peaceful resolution of all issues in the border areas through dialogue,” the statement had said.

Swaraj told Rajya Sabha members that there was a written agreement between India and China in 2012 that the three countries (India, China and Bhutan) will together decide the boundaries at the trijunction point.

She said the boundary between India and China is yet to be finalised and the two countries will do that bilaterally through discussions, while the same between China and Bhutan too will be done through bilateral talks.

Unlike previous occasions when China would keep constructing “pucca, semi-pucca and dirt roads”, she said that this time China came with “bulldozers and excavators” to build the road, which was protested by Bhutan in writing to China.

Swaraj said “their (China’s) intention was to reach the trijunction so that they can unilaterally end the status of the trijunction. It was only then that India came into the picture”. On the standoff, she said all nations were on India’s side. “India’s position is not wrong on the trijunction and all nations are with it,” she said.

Gopal Baglay, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, pointed out that Beijing had also said on Thursday that “diplomatic channels have been unimpeded”, and that it should be left to diplomats to deal with the situation.

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    Prana151
    Jul 22, 2017 at 6:52 pm
    Modi ji ...Don't you realise our worries, when you came on power every where is tension, Mostly all of us and our children are facing very hard time of life, and now when we know that you have send our troops in Bhutan for fight with neighbor big power china. The danger appear on the wall. You are requested to returned back our troops safely, and make peace as was from last period.
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      Norbu
      Jul 22, 2017 at 12:27 pm
      India needs to withdraw troops from Bhutan. Always bullying Bhutan. Always looking down at our wonderful people.
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      1. T
        Taxpayer
        Jul 22, 2017 at 12:18 pm
        Modi is a joke. He created this situation by changing China an ally into enemy. He created this situation by stealing our money and sending it overseas and to his friends instead of defence. We can not even control Pakistan and yet he wants us all to die for no reason. He needs to resign. He knows he broke the law by sending our troops to another country. Too late to withdraw now. He is so guilty so he keeps quiet!
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          Sanand
          Jul 22, 2017 at 9:53 am
          Why big mouth modi is not speaking? Is he afraid? In modi regime india changed its posture towards china. That is going to be lethal. Modi has weaken India's position bcs of machoism and put country in danger.
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            Taxpayer
            Jul 22, 2017 at 12:20 pm
            He weakened our country. Created enemies with all our neighbours. He stole our money and now we find out only 10 days of weapons. Modi should resign. No one feels safe anymore because of him
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            annalyser2017
            Jul 22, 2017 at 12:33 am
            Now the New Delhi came out with the demand that both country with draw their troops from face off point on Doklam platue. But China already told to India from the very beginning that with drawing of Indian troops is the precondition before any meaningful dialogs on the issue. This is very unethical position to accept them. To entre the troops on others land and reason of security are also unconvincing to the world, They are not with India, it is a lie statement to mislead the Nation , the world is watching all the matters very carefully, and astonishing of the information for sending the troops on other's land is uncalled for and consider to be aggressor. China is more than five times in economy and strength. Let us hope war may not start in this issue, also the troops may be safe, and this worry matters may be solve peacefully.
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            1. T
              Taxpayer
              Jul 22, 2017 at 12:21 pm
              Modi creating this problem and weakening us. He should not have asked the troops to invade another country
              Reply
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              Sankaran Krishnan
              Jul 21, 2017 at 4:08 pm
              If the statement of the India's Foreign Minister is true and valid that All the Countries are supporting India on the stand-off then the question of withdrawal does not arise and if China withdraws India will also withdraw from Bhutan and that is the message to be given to China. Now it is up to China to decide how to back off and if not it is China and its Businesses that will suffer severely !!!
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                PN badri
                Jul 21, 2017 at 3:53 pm
                Unfortunately PM is maintaining stoic silence on this vital issue is surpirprising.
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                1. T
                  Taxpayer
                  Jul 22, 2017 at 12:22 pm
                  He is guilty! Where is our money? Where is our weapons? Why is our country divided by racism? Why do our neighbours hate us?
                  Reply
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                  Ramesh Nittoor
                  Jul 21, 2017 at 3:49 pm
                  GlobalTimes editorial, in their response to Hon Foreign Minister accuse her of lying. They have also issues a naked threat to India. -------The PLA's mobility and logistics capability cannot be matched by that of its Indian counterpart. PLA troops may appear in any area beyond the line of actual control that was previously controlled by India. The China-India border area may become a stage where China showcases the achievement of its long-term military development and reforms. -----/---- This escalation of their war of words has consequences to China. The formulation of their thought construct about clearly reveals Chinese are not that sophisticated in ideas front. Given their notion of superiority at LAC and this determination to bring forth more resources, if really taking place is better reported. Think China is weaker on LAC, and India can provide her own security, and it is devastating economic sanctions which China has to fear from US , EU and Japan.
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                    Ramesh Nittoor
                    Jul 21, 2017 at 3:56 pm
                    This doubling down by Global Times on Doklam in their editorial does not mean it reflects official Chinese opinion. It may be a trial balloon floated by the official apparatus to test waters. Nevertheless it got to be noted that this information warfare to shape internal policies of India and define her response has raised temperature now, and at this stage. In this kind of attrition, maintains trust and credibility of internal audience matters more for a free, secular legal democracy like India since truth is the only criterion which holds the nation together. Truth can not be made a casualty in the kind of war.
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