At a meeting held at Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s New Delhi residence on Friday, the government briefed Opposition party leaders on the ongoing stand-off between India and China over Doklam border issue. The meeting comes ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament which could heated exchanges between the Centre and Opposition leaders. The meeting was attended by senior leaders like Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad, SP’s Mulayam Singh Yadav, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, among others.
The government is believed to have told the Opposition that it is confident of solving the issue through diplomatic channel, a solution which found support from majority of the Opposition leaders except Mulayam Singh, who reportedly, asked the govt to ‘teach China a lesson’.
Meanwhile, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is also likely to visit China on July 26-27 for the BRICS NSAs meeting. BRICS is an association of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Earlier, in a meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of G 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, PM Modi is likely to have raised the issue during the discussion.
The Doklam stand-off, which began during mid-June, has seen Chinese government spokespersons and their media invoking the 1962 war between both the nations. Last week, the Chinese media resorted to recalling editorials and pictures from five decades ago warning India about the consequences of the war.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, however, on Tuesday, while delivering a lecture organised by Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Indian High Commission, said that he had no doubts that India cannot handle the issue, referring to the recent Doklam standoff with China. “Having handled such border issues in past, I see no reason that we will not be able to handle this time,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
The stand-off at Doklam between Indian Army and China’s PLA came to light after the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims were refused entry through Nathu La Pass on Sikkim border. The issue began after India accused China of attempting to construct a road in the Doklam region – a disputed territory located in the Chumbi valley at a tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China. China claims ownership of Doklam region, strategically important for India, China and Bhutan.
India sees it as a dagger pointed towards its so-called ‘chicken’s neck’ sector in the Northeast and rapid Chinese road construction in Tibet could make things difficult for India. At the same time, Sikkim is one of the few sectors where India has an advantage.
In the last one month since the standoff began, there has been an exchange of heated remarks from both the sides. However, both the countries have expressed that they will use official diplomatic channels to reach a solution.