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Solved Doklam dispute with ‘maturity’, without losing ground: Sushma Swaraj

The Congress termed Swaraj’s statement as “half-truth” and “misleading”.

Sushma Swaraj in Parliament on Monday. Prem Nath Pandey

India resolved the Doklam standoff with China through “diplomatic maturity” and “without losing any ground”, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. She said that status quo has been maintained on the ground. She said the main objective of the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan (in April) was to “ensure mutual comfort, mutual understanding and mutual trust, (and) we have achieved success in all three objectives”.

“We have resolved the Doklam issue with diplomatic maturity without losing any ground. There is no change in the status quo (on the ground).The face-off at sight has been resolved on August 28, 2017 and it remains like that,” she said in reply to a question from Trinamool Congress MP Sugata Bose.

Bose and other Opposition members insisted that Prime Minister Modi must reply to the question since it was he, and not Swaraj, who had attended the summit. The PM, who was present in the House at the time, did not respond.
Swaraj said, “I may not have been there but I am capable of replying to the question.”

The minister said that as a follow-up to the Wuhan summit, the Chinese Defence Minister is coming to India to enhance military cooperation, and China’s Foreign Minister will arrive later this year as part of efforts to enhance people-to-people contact. Before the informal summit at Wuhan, she said, Foreign Ministers of the two countries decided that the leaders should not be restricted to any specific issue.

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Replying to a question regarding the South China Sea dispute, Swaraj said, “There should be freedom of navigation. Our stand on South China Sea is clear: there should be freedom of navigation and all international laws should be adhered to.”

Half-truth, misleading: Congress

The Congress termed Swaraj’s statement as “half-truth” and “misleading”. The party said the Narendra Modi government’s doublespeak on Doklam is endangering national security and India’s strategic interests.  “The government and Swaraj were conspicuously silent on the Chinese military build-up and new road construction in South Doklam region, overlooking the ‘Chicken Neck’. She (Swaraj) said nothing about the creation of a ‘full-fledged Chinese military complex’ at Doklam right up to 10 metre from the Indian Army post,” Congress communications department head Randeep Surjewala said.

First published on: 02-08-2018 at 01:16:23 am
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