All-party meet to discuss India-China stalemate over Dokalam

RSTV Bureau

Sushma-Swaraj

An all-party meet on the Sikkim standoff with China is scheduled to take place on Friday evening. The meeting, called by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, will discuss the current Sino-Indian stalemate over Dokalam sector. The Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction has been a bone of contention for last one month for the two sides, after the Chinese Army attempted to build a road.

Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.

Earlier on Wednesday, China claimed that the Sikkim standoff is “different” from the previous border frictions along the Line of Actual Control as it has taken place at a “defined section” of the boundary.

“This is totally different from the undefined boundary in the east, the middle and the western part. According to the 1890 convention, the Sikkim section has been defined and both China and India have recognised this,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had said.

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Reacting to Geng’s remarks, New Delhi said the principles on which the differences between the two countries on the border issues and tri-junctions are addressed are mutually agreed upon and well established.

“It is a long border, as you know no part of the border has been agreed upon on the ground. It is likely that from time to time there are differences,” Foreign Secretary Jaishankar had said while delivering a lecture in Singapore.

Jaishankar also added that India and China have handled their border issues in the past and there was no reason why they will not be able to deal with them this time.

India had earlier asserted that it is “deeply concerned” at the recent Chinese actions and has conveyed to the Chinese government that the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for it.

However, amid strains over the issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Chinese premier Xi Jinping on the sidelines of G20 summit in Hamburg last week. The two leaders had discussed severed issues, as told by the Ministry of External Affairs.

The meeting assumed significance as it came a day after China said that the “atmosphere” is “not right” for a bilateral meeting between Modi and Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.