MEA: Both India and China have demilitarised Doklam

RSTV Bureau

India China flags

The MEA has confirmed that both India and China have demilitarised the disputed area of Doklam. The Chinese troops have left along with bulldozers and removed the tents which they had pitched, said a top Indian official.

The official, on the condition of anonymity, said there were about 1700-1800 Chinese troops in the area where they proposed to build a road and all of them have left.

The Indian troops, whose number was in a “few hundreds”, have also moved out of the stand-off area, the official told PTI tonight, adding it is a “demilitarised” area now.

The stand-off had begun in June when the Indian troops objected to the Chinese building the road there.

“The bulldozers have been taken away, tents have been removed and even a flag which they (Chinese) had hoisted there has been removed,” the official said.

Earlier, in the morning, the External Affairs Ministry said “expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site in Dokalam has been agreed to and is on-going.”

Later, in the evening, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said the process of disengagement had almost been completed under verification, reflecting an end to the nearly two-and-half-month long standoff.

“This process has since been almost completed under verification,” Kumar said, referring to the disengagement.

An official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the process of resolving the matter started after a brief interaction between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hamburg in July.

Subsequently, the Special Representatives of the two countries — National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi — were in touch, the official said.

The breakthrough came just days ahead of the BRICS Summit to be held in Chinese city of Xiamen from September 3-5, which  Modi is expected to attend.

(With inputs from PTI)