India Building Troops and Repairing Roads Amidst Stand-off, Claims Chinese Foreign Ministry

Can the Doklam Dispute Be Resolved?

Can the Doklam Dispute Be Resolved?

National security advisor Ajit Doval's meeting with his counterpart Yang Jiechi in Beijing last week resulted in a diplomatic opening between the two sides.

According to the Chinese, the bilateral meeting was sought by Doval and Rs in accordance with the practice'.

Continuing with its rhetoric over the border standoff at Doklam, a senior Chinese diplomat in New Delhi warned India of consequences.

"But the Indian side not only has not taken any actual steps to correct its mistake, it has concocted all sorts of reasons, that don't have a leg to stand on, to make up excuses for the Indian military's illegal crossing of the border", it said. India's foreign minister Sushma Swaraj has insisted that both sides should pull back for talking to begin.

Swaraj hit out at the opposition saying that the concerns raised now over Chinese transgressions, Gwadar and Hambantota are all born during the time when Congress was in power.

Bhutan had on June 29 stated that construction of the road in Doklam Plateau by Chinese PLA was a "direct violation" of its agreements with China to maintain peace and tranquillity in their border areas pending a final settlement of the boundary dispute.

India, however, has claimed that the Sikkim boundary has never been settled, even after the 1890 convention.

On 19 June, the Chinese side made prompt and serious representations with the Indian side through diplomatic channels to strongly protest and condemn the illegal trespass by the Indian side and demand the immediate withdrawal of the trespassing Indian border troops back to the Indian side of the boundary.

"India's position on this issue and related facts have been articulated in our press statement of June 30, 2017", the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said. "This is an undeniable fact", he said.

The incident occurred in an area where there is a clear and delimited boundary.

India and China have been blaming each other for intruding into the border.

China on Thursday said that it could no longer accept the presence of even a single soldier of India in Doklam - the scene of the current military face-off between the two. They have trespassed into the territory of China. China's road building on its own territory is aimed at improving local transportation, which is completely lawful and legitimate.

After intruding into Uttarakhand a few days ago, China has now stepped up road-building and construction activities across the Himachal border where residents of villages in the remote districts of Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti have reported spotting Chinese helicopters and increased activity. "It is not a matter of numbers, the point is there are still Indians remaining", he said.

"India considers that peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas is an important pre-requisite for smooth development of our bilateral relations with China", he said.

India has said Beijing's action to "unilaterally determine tri-junction points" violated a 2012 India-China pact which says the boundary would be decided by consulting all the concerned parties.

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