Doklam: China Says India Should ‘Draw Lessons’ From Standoff
The Ministry of External Affairs has signalled a possible end to the Doklam standoff.
Signalling an end to the three-month Doklam standoff between India and China, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Monday issued two statements, with the second one saying, "expeditious disengagement of border personnel of India and China at the face-off site at Doklam was ongoing" and "has been almost completed under verification".
Prior to the second statement, there was ambiguity over the issue, as China had initially said that Indian troops had withdrawn, and asserted that Chinese forces will continue to patrol the Doklam region.
The first statement by the MEA, issued earlier on Monday, was also unclear. But the doubts were cleared when the ministry came out with the second statement later in the day.
These actions come just days before the BRICS summit to be held in China, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend.
India should draw lessons from Dokalam standoff: China
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday said the 73-day stand-off between India and China in Dokalam ended after India withdrew its troops and asked New Delhi to "learn lessons" and prevent such incidents in future.
"The border face off caused by Indian trespassing has been settled," Wang told the media, while answering a question from the Chinese media reports that India withdrew troops to provide a face saver for China after reaching a settlement.
Media may have carried speculation and reports but as per the "authoritative information" with the Chinese government, Indian troops have withdrawn from the area on the afternoon of 28 August, which "brought the faceoff to an end", he said.
"That is a basic fact and of course, we hope that the Indian side will learn lessons from this incident and prevent similar things from happening again," he said.
In New Delhi, the External Affairs Ministry did not immediately comment on the Chinese foreign minister's remarks.
"Army Chief was Sure of Ensuring Maximum Damage": Government Sources
Speaking to NDTV, unnamed sources from the government accepted that India’s position in Dokalam was what pushed both sides to negotiate on an end to the three-month long standoff. The army had reportedly enveloped the entire area, and had “made provisions to neutralise the Chinese forces”, they said.
Also, the location was advantageous to India as they could mobilise forces to Sikkim faster than China could, and the Indian forces had ‘strategically surrounded’ the area.
They also disclosed that Army Chief General Bipin Rawat was extremely confident of “ensuring maximum damage”, forcing China to agree on negotiating through diplomatic talks.
'We've Resolved the Issue of Illegal Trespass by India'
China on Tuesday remained non-committal on the issue of stopping road construction in Dokalam.
In order to meet the needs of defending the borders, improving the living conditions, China has long engaged in infrastructure development including the road construction.Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson
When asked if China will continue with building the road in the area, Hua said, “we will take into consideration all relevant factors, including the weather, to make relevant construction plan in accordance with the situation on the ground.”
Hua reiterated that Chinese border troops “will continue to station and patrol the Doklam area. We will continue to exercise our sovereignty with historic conventions.”
She also parried a question whether China is in consultation with Bhutan, which has protested the Chinese troops' road building in Doklam.
So far we have resolved the issue of illegal trespass of the Indian troops.
China Hopeful of Getting Support for Successful BRICS Summit
China hoped that all BRICS nations will play a role for the success of the grouping's upcoming summit in Xiamen, a day after India and China agreed to disengage their soldiers to end the Doklam standoff.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Xiamen to attend the summit from 3 September to 5 September.
When asked whether China halted the work on a road in Doklam to end the standoff so that the BRICS summit could be held, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said:
Peaceful resolution of the issue through the diplomatic channels serves the common interests of all relevant parties. It shows the sincerity and responsible attitude of China as a major country.
Hua reiterated that "Chinese border troops will continue to station and patrol the Doklam area. We will continue to exercise our sovereignty with historic conventions."
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