Just few days before National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s visit to Beijing, a Chinese analyst opined that the visit may prove to be the key step in easing tensions between the two countries with regards to Doklam. Doval, who is scheduled to visit China on July 27-28 will attend a meeting of NSAs from BRICS countries in Beijing, hosted by his Chinese counterpart and State Councillor Yang Jiechi. According to an article published in The Global Times, Ma Jiali, a research fellow at China Reform Forum thinktank, said that the meeting would be an opportunity to ease India-China tensions that have been brewing for some time now over the standoff at Doklam in Sikkim sector.
“China would lodge solemn representation with the Indian side during Doval’s visit, hoping it could take measures to ease the tension. India may make some requests as a bargaining chip for its pulling out troops,” Ma said. The analyst, who holds specialisation in India-China studies, added that if an agreement is not achieved between the two sides at the meeting, it can severly damage the relations between the two nations.
Tensions have escalated in recent days in Dokalam area in southernmost part of Tibet between India and China, after Chinese troops were prohibited by Indian soldiers from building a road in the disuputed area which is also claimed by India’s ally Tibet. According to reports, Doval and Jiechi has had 19 rounds of talks over the boundary dispute in over a month to resolve the differences. According to Chinese officials, Doval and Yang may continue with informal talks in coming days.
Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a face- off in the Dokalam area of the Sikkim sector for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area.
China claimed that they were constructing the road within their territory and has been demanding immediate pull-out of the Indian troops from the disputed Dokalam plateau. New Delhi has expressed concern over the road building, apprehending that it may allow Chinese troops to cut India’s access to its northeastern states.
India has conveyed to the Chinese government that the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for it. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.
Of the 3,488-km-long India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-km section falls in Sikkim.