The Doklam standoff put “severe pressure” on bilateral relations: China

KARISHMA SRIVASTAVA 13/12/2017 12:25:14


New Delhi, Dec 13: The millitiary stand-off in Doklam had put "severe pressure" on India-China ties though the issue was resolved through diplomatic means, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi told External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during their meeting in New Delhi.

The external affairs ministry did not comment on the unusually blunt remarks attributed to Wang, who had travelled to New Delhi for a trilateral meeting with Swaraj and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov

Mr. Wang also underlined that, the matter was finally settled peacefully through diplomatic means, reflecting the maturing of bilateral relations.

After the commencement of the second five-year term of President Xi Jinping, Wang's visit to New Delhi is the first by a top Chinese official to India after the 73-day Doklam standoff.

Mr Wang, who had last week credited Beijing handling what he had called the "trespass" into Doklam with "restraint", also underlined that "lessons should be learned and (it) should not happen again," according to media reports.

He said, “In 2017, relations between China and India have maintained their momentum of development as a whole. Both sides have made efforts in this regard, but they are not very satisfactory.”

Leaders from both countries have shared the view that China and India should regard each other's development as opportunities rather than challenges, and China and India are partners rather than rivals, thus the two sides should sincerely implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, Wang noted.

In the middle of June, Chinese soldiers who began constructing a new road were stopped by Indian troops who crossed over the border at Sikkim. China said it had every right to build a road on its terrain; India said that the plateau in fact belongs to Bhutan and that the road changed the status quo at the crucial tri-junction of the borders of India, Bhutan and China.

The new road would give Beijing access to a thin corridor that connects India to its north-eastern states.

In August, both sides agreed to withdraw their soldiers from the face-off site at Doklam ahead of the meeting of heads of state from "BRICS" countries due to take place in China, a bloc composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.


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