Diplomatic channels ‘unimpeded’ to resolve stand-off, says China

In New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the matter can be resolved through talks.

July 20, 2017 03:37 pm | Updated 03:37 pm IST - Beijing

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang. File

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang. File

China said on Thursday that diplomatic channels with India remained “unimpeded” to discuss the military stand-off in Sikkim sector but reiterated that the withdrawal of the Indian troops from Doklam area is a “precondition” for any meaningful dialogue.

“Our diplomatic channel is unimpeded,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters, confirming talks between Indian and Chinese missions to resolve the standoff.

Mr. Lu, however, reiterated that “the withdrawal of the Indian border personnel is the precondition for any meaningful dialogue and communication between the two countries”.

In New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the matter can be resolved through talks.

“We are willing to talk, but both sides have to first take back their armies,” she told the Rajya Sabha.

The minister said the boundaries between India and China are yet to be finalised and the two countries will do that bilaterally through discussions, while the same between China and Bhutan too will be done through bilateral talks. She accused China of building roads using bulldozers and excavators, which has been protested by Bhutan in writing to China.

Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a face-off for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from constructing a road near the Doklam plateau, fearing it may allow China to cut India’s access to its northeastern states.

India has conveyed to China that the construction of the road would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for New Delhi.

India and China share a 220-km-long border in Sikkim.

Mr. Lu claimed that the incident makes it clear that “Indian border personnel illegally trespassed into China’s territory.”

The standoff is expected to figure prominently during the visit of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval to Beijing for the meeting of NSAs from BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — countries from July 26—27.

Chinese officials say while there may not be a formal meeting between Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, there can be informal talks between the two officials, who are also the Special Representatives of their countries for the border talks.

Both countries have so far held 19 rounds of talks.

Earlier this month, China had refused to acknowledge that Chinese President Xi Jinping even met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany as the standoff continued.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs, however, the said that the two leaders met and discussed a “range of issues”.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.