- India reiterated that its stance on the dispute at Doklam has not changed in spite of Chinese directives to withdraw Indian troops
- “It is essential that all parties concerned display utmost restraint and abide by their respective bilateral understandings,” India had said earlier.
India on Wednesday reiterated that peace and tranquility in the border areas is an important prerequisite for smooth development of bilateral relations+ with China.
In an official response to a Chinese government document addressing the impasse at Doklam+ , India said its position on the issue had already been articulated in a press statement released on June 30.
“India is deeply concerned at the recent Chinese actions and has conveyed to the Chinese Government that such construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India… It is essential that all parties concerned display utmost restraint and abide by their respective bilateral understandings not to change the status quo unilaterally,” the June 30 press release had stated.
Indicating that the government’s stance has not changed even after over a month of troops of both countries being engaged in a tense stand-off at the Indo-China border in Sikkim’s Doklam, the Centre said on Wednesday that its terms of resolution remain the same, injunctions from China notwithstanding.
Earlier in the day, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a 15-page dossier notifying India to take “concrete actions” by immediately pulling back troops+ from Doklam. It further stated that India’s “intrusion” into Chinese territory under the pretext of Bhutan has not only “violated China’s territorial sovereignty but also challenged Bhutan’s sovereignty and independence”.
In the face of this terse missive, the Ministry of External Affairs once again made it clear that it won’t buckle to pressure from Beijing, even as it pursued diplomatic means to resolve the matter.
Last month, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj emphasised that channels of bilateral dialogue were open, but first both sides would have to withdraw their troops simultaneously.
“We are willing to talk but both sides should take back their army to original position. As long as it was between China and Bhutan, we had nothing to do with it. But we are involved in tri-junction this time and its directly related to us. If china will change status quo, then this is a threat to our security,” Swaraj had said in the Rajya Sabbha.
The dispute at Doklam emerged on June 16, when the Indian Army stopped Chinese troops from constructing roads along the India-China border in the Sikkim sector. India claims Sikkim border as part of its territory, while China has said that the area falls on their side as per the 1890 treaty signed between China and British.
New Delhi had expressed concern over the road building, apprehending that it may allow Chinese troops to cut India’s access to its northeastern states.
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