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Doval, Yang hold talks amid Sikkim standoff

28 July 2017, 12:27 | Yvette Williams

Ahead of NSA Doval's visit, is China relenting on Doklam dispute?

China will protect border with India 'at all costs'

Doval's visit is being watched closely, particularly his likely bilateral meeting with China's state councillor Yang Jiechi with whom he could discuss the ongoing standoff in Doklam.

"Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi Thursday met separately with senior security representatives from South Africa, Brazil and India", Xinhua reported.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Chinese National Security Advisor Yang Jiechi has bilateral relations in front of senior representatives of the three countries, keeping their side on worldwide and territorial serious issues (possibly including the Dokalam) and clarifying their position.

Meanwhile, the government told Rajya Sabha today that India's engagement with China was multi-faceted and issues having differences of perception by both sides are being handled with maturity.

"Yang also separately exchanged views with the three senior representatives on bilateral relations, global and regional issues and multilateral affairs, and set forth China's position on bilateral issues and major problems", it added. The Indian army had stopped the Chinese army from crossing the Indo-Bhutan-China border, after which China and India's army face-to-face for more than a month. In May, India boycotted the inauguration of President Xi Jinping's signature "One Belt, One Road" project, saying the plan ignored "core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity".

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Doval reached Beijing on Thursday ahead of his planned meetings with Chinese president Xi Jinping and State Counsellor Yang Jeiche on Friday.

Doklam, located at the tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China, is of high strategic importance to all three.

China on June 26 alleged that Indian troops crossed the boundary line in the Sikkim sector of the China-India boundary. He also said foreign minister Wang Yi has authoritatively made Beijing's position clear on the issue. He added, "The crux now is Indian border troops illegally stayed on China's territory". Though China continued to maintain that there won't be a meaningful dialogue without the unconditional withdrawal of Indian troops, the Chinese foreign ministry has hinted of a bilateral meeting between Doval and Yang which is part of the tradition of BRICS NSAs meeting. We (both India and China) have embassies which are functioning.

China says it will not talk on the Doklam issue unless India withdraws troops from the region.



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