Updated: July 18, 2017 9:58:43 pm
China’s stand on the Doklam area in Sikkim border has been unusually aggressive and articulate, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar told a group of ministers on Tuesday. The Foreign Secretary who was briefing the parliamentary panel, assured the ministers that New Delhi is using diplomatic channels to ease out the tension that has grappled the two neighbouring countries for over a month.
Jaishankar also told the panel that India had clearly outlined its position on the border and Chinese have their own position, but they are misinterpreting it so India was trying to clarify it. He also added that India was continuing to stick to its stand that it had first taken in 1985 as per an Anglo-Chinese agreement.
According to a minister who was present in the parliament panel, the Foreign Secretary did not use words like “war-like situation or conflict” but chose to use standoff to describe the current situation at Doklam.
S Jaishankar’s remarks came soon after the Chinese Foreign Ministry asked India not to use ‘trespass’ into Doklam area as a “policy tool” to achieve its political targets. “You must be very clear about it. We hope the Indian side can get clear understanding of the current situation and take immediate measures to withdraw the personnel who have illegally crossed the boundary so as to avoid the escalation,” ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.
China and India have been locked in a bitter confrontation over the road construction in Doklam area. According to China’s version of events, Indian troops are blocking the construction of the road in the territory on Sikkim border that it calls Donglang. The Chinese authorities also assert that the area belongs to China. New Delhi, on the other hand, says the land of contention is a part of Bhutan and in case the road is built it would raise security implications for India. It also fears that the construction enable the Chinese troops to cut India’s access to the north-eastern states,
In a strong warning to India, the Chinese state media indicated that ‘border line was the bottom line’ and that withdrawal of Indian troops was necessary for any diplomatic solution. China is also said to have conveyed to foreign diplomats that its “patience with India won’t be indefinite.” However, India since the beginning has said that only diplomatic routes are being used to resolve the issue.
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