Doklam standoff: US approaches Delhi, Beijing, seeks talks, peaceful solution

According to sources privy to the exchanges between Washington, Delhi and Beijing, the US Embassy in Beijing asked for a meeting with the Chinese government shortly after the Indian side made its first public statement on the standoff on June 30.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: July 25, 2017 9:34 am
Sikkim, China, india, Doklam, Doka la, India China sikkim, India China border The US diplomats in Beijing got a meeting with the Chinese foreign ministry on July 6, around the time Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Israel and Chinese President Xi Jinping was in Germany.

Donald Trump administration has established contact with New Delhi and Beijing over the last three weeks on the border standoff at Doklam, and has advocated “peaceful resolution” through “dialogue”, sources have told The Sunday Express.

According to sources privy to the exchanges between Washington, Delhi and Beijing, the US Embassy in Beijing asked for a meeting with the Chinese government shortly after the Indian side made its first public statement on the standoff on June 30.

The US diplomats in Beijing got a meeting with the Chinese foreign ministry on July 6, around the time Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Israel and Chinese President Xi Jinping was in Germany. Modi and Xi met briefly in Hamburg where, according to the MEA, they had a “conversation” on a “range of issues”.

At the July 6 closed-door meeting in Beijing with US diplomats, Chinese officials gave their version of events — just like they briefed other members of P-5 (members of the UN Security Council) and some G-20 member countries, as first reported by The Indian Express earlier this week. Most of these meetings happened separately, at the request of these countries, and there was no joint briefing of Beijing-based diplomats.

Sources said that the message by Chinese officials was the same: they conveyed to US diplomats in Beijing that troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have been waiting patiently at the Doklam plateau, but will not wait for an indefinite period. China claims this Bhutanese land at the trijunction with India as its own, and calls it Donglong. “The message was the same to diplomats of all countries which sought briefings from the Chinese side,” a source said. Some of these countries briefed Indian diplomats in Beijing and New Delhi on the Chinese foreign ministry’s briefing.

Separately, there have been at least two diplomatic contacts by the US with the Indian government. One was by Acting US Ambassador MaryKay Loss Carlson, who contacted Indian officials in Delhi. And the other was a high-level contact by Washington-based Trump administration officials with the Indian side. Both contacts, sources said, advocated dialogue and peaceful resolution.

Sources said that a similar message was conveyed by the US to Chinese officials in Beijing as well. On Saturday, just five days ahead of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s visit to China for the BRICS NSAs’ meeting being hosted by Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi on July 27 and 28, Pentagon said that India and China should engage in direct dialogue, free of any “coercive aspects”, to reduce the tension over Doklam.

“We encourage India and China to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions and free of any coercive aspects,” Gary Ross, a Defence Department spokesman, told PTI. Asked if the Pentagon fears the tension may escalate between India and China, Ross refused to take sides on the issue. “We refer you to the governments of India and China for further information… We are not going to speculate on such matters,” he said.

The US State Department too has made similar statements over the past week. US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters on Friday, “This is a situation that we are following closely and carefully. I’d have to refer you to the governments of India and China for more information on that.”

She said India and China were talking on the issue. “(And) they’re going to talk to one another,” she said, referring to Doval’s visit to China on July 27-28. “We would encourage them to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions,” Nauert said.

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  1. M
    Mukaddam
    Jul 23, 2017 at 11:45 pm
    Indian government needs all the support of Indians from all walks of life, irrespective of which political ideology they belong to. Bharatvarsha has experience of handling nuclear weapons thousands of years before the modern world even had any inkling of such a weapon could exist or be made. India shall not give an inch to the Chinese, under no circumstance. If it results into a war , India shall use nuclear weapons at the start of war. No wait and watch game. Just do it.
    Reply
    1. S
      Sankaran Krishnan
      Jul 23, 2017 at 5:03 pm
      It is up to China to go back and pave way for withdrawal by both China and India and it is China who wanted to end the stand off and as per them they are waiting patiently and the stiff opposition to them is the victory for India. It is China who gave ultimatums and definitely not India and now they got exposes by their own wrongful act and thanks to the US for the interference now they accede their request and from Day 1 India told that NSA will travel to China for BRICS Summit and as planned he is travelling China but not out of compulsion or due to influence of USA !!!
      Reply
      1. a
        annalyser2017
        Jul 23, 2017 at 6:45 pm
        Mr. Krishnan.... Good you are also showing your loyalty on this issue. But you can see that vocal and desirous loyalty is not enough, one should be loyal with his all capabilities, there fore we have the mind to think fairly for overall benefits of Nation. It is not the time to indulge with them, they are more than five times in economy and strength as per the international reports.so it not suitable time. It is also the fact they are waiting, but not because of stiff opposition and victory of India. They are waiting because that they are showing to the world that India is aggressor, and calculating for all the adverse with economical factors. . when they decide, it is not to difficult for them to proceed. what ever we are starting here, they have completed and ready for action. So it better time to come back before they give any date to be out. It is better to face save and advance in all respect.
        Reply
        1. M
          Mukaddam
          Jul 23, 2017 at 11:51 pm
          No, this is not the right thinking. You give them an inch and they will take the whole arm. That is what they have done all these years, taken a part of Kashmir from India and POK side, Arunachal Pradesh, Laddakh. Let there be a war. If they are 5 times bigger in economy, let it be so. We shall be ready for a war of complete annihilation, no mercy, no compromise. Move Nuclear weapons at right places to attack Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong provinces to kill the maximum and cripple their economy for hundreds of years to come
          1. A
            Anirban Datta
            Jul 24, 2017 at 3:16 am
            Not advocating a military solution when diplomatic approach is possible. But your assessment of Chinese being 5 times stronger in finance and strength is bit of overstatement. yes Chinese Military is strong and it has a 1.8-1 advantage in its favour in numbers . But be mindful of the fact that China is vast country with its army stretched out in every corner as it has conflict with most of its neighbours. Himalayan terrain is not ideal for armoured divisions to fight. India has a paramilitary force the ITBP for specifically engaging China. And it will be easier for Indians to Air-lift more troops than China due to the density of logistical machinery. Chinese Navy has serious threat from Japanese navy in East and given the recent deployment of Bhramos in N-E India, India can take the risk of a limited war in the region. No country will fly nukes for 100 KM barren land. Both side will not look to escalate. Finally Russia will step in to mediate as it is strategic partner of both.
        2. I
          iftikhar
          Jul 23, 2017 at 4:56 pm
          Perhaps Haq Parast has become mad ?
          Reply
          1. a
            annalyser2017
            Jul 23, 2017 at 1:29 pm
            Explaining from external affairs minister that all countries are with them and agree that their stand to stop the China for constructing the road is not wrong, is totally false and misleading the public here. Actually no country supports their stands and they are not with them, but they all are with their benefits. They are mostly neutral, and some big one have their commercial interests and willingly desire to be in their interest pan, witch at present in China's favor. So giving the impression that all the countries all with them is totally miss calculation and misleading the Nation. May be some face saving is made and big loss is avoided.
            Reply
            1. H
              Haq Parast
              Jul 23, 2017 at 12:44 pm
              Breaking news: "Super power" India can't even stand 10 days if war erupts hahahahahahahahhah
              Reply
              1. D
                Dc
                Jul 23, 2017 at 12:41 pm
                External interference comes only when the internal system is incompetent. Govt failure !
                Reply
                1. P
                  Paddy Singh
                  Jul 23, 2017 at 11:24 am
                  What shows our vulnerability in this case is that the government has not asked the US not to interfere here, but in our stand with Pakistan over POK we are rightfully blunt when telling the UN and other nations that we would brook no interference. Telling the US not to interfere would have sent a bold message across to China that we can handle them over what is our territory.
                  Reply
                  1. K
                    Kamal Pasha
                    Jul 23, 2017 at 11:39 am
                    Paddy Singh : US has full right to say what they want to India after a very close hugging between Trump and Feku.
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Anil
                      Jul 23, 2017 at 12:48 pm
                      And China has the full right to colonize your bankrupt country after lending you money all the time without getting it back. As a start, they've opened up Mandarin schools for guys like you who will have to learn Chinese language and culture and say goodbye to your religion. Not that you will get any better even after than since one evil will be replaced by another and anyways you guys are doomed, one way or another.
                    2. H
                      Haq Parast
                      Jul 23, 2017 at 12:45 pm
                      Breaking news: "Super power" India can't even stand for 10 days if war erupts hahahahahahahahhah
                      Reply
                    3. L
                      L bhadrapati Devi
                      Jul 23, 2017 at 10:34 am
                      The border issue of China and Bhutan and consequent fall out of open conflict of India and China in the form of deploying security forces of two may be settled without third party. USA has political stake in such volatile situation to justify its hegemony over Asian countries. As long as low or high level of conflict, they will be benefited. US is acting like monkey who is meddling the fight of two kitten over share of bread.
                      Reply
                      1. B
                        Bert Brech
                        Jul 23, 2017 at 10:48 am
                        Don't b so insanely overconfident. US support is desperately needed by India now to save itself from a terrible defeat. Hegemony over Asian countries is exercised by China, not the US. Our only alternative to Chinese domination is a strong alliance withte US.
                        Reply
                        1. K
                          Kamal Pasha
                          Jul 23, 2017 at 11:47 am
                          Bert Brech. : US debt to China is $ 1.102 trillions till May 2017. Now use your rusted brain. OK for the sake of arguments , US will not support China, but US can not dare to say anything to now Mighty China.
                          1. A
                            Anil
                            Jul 23, 2017 at 12:53 pm
                            Why then does China look so rattled and continues to shout and curse? Because a short, punitive campaign which they favor may just become a nightmare. India just has to give a good account of itself for 2-3 weeks for China to lose face. Remember Vietnam 1979, the last war China fought? China is much stronger now but then so is India. It's no walk in the woods.
                          2. H
                            Haq Parast
                            Jul 23, 2017 at 12:45 pm
                            Breaking news: "Super power" India can't even stand for 10 days if war erupts hahahahahahahahhah
                            Reply
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