STORY: Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday (august 03) said the border stand-off with China cannot be resolved through a war but can be settled through bilateral talks.
A stand-off on Doklam plateau next to the mountainous Indian state of Sikkim, which borders China, has ratcheted up tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours, who share a 3,500 km (2,175 miles) frontier, large parts of which are disputed.
Strongly defending government’s response to the stand-off at Doklam, the foreign minister told the parliament that the government was not just negotiating with China on Doklam, but was also talking on the bilateral relations.
She further said India believes that peace and tranquillity along the border with China was an important prerequisite for smooth development of their bilateral relations.
On July 2, China emphatically rejected India’s interference in its ongoing boundary dispute with Bhutan in the Doklam area and again urged New Delhi to withdraw unconditionally and end the nearly two-month long stand-off.
China alleged that India’s intrusion into its territory under the pretext of defending Bhutan’s territorial claims, has not only violated Beijing’s territorial sovereignty, but also challenged Bhutan’s sovereignty and independence.
Indian and Chinese troops continue to be locked in a standoff in Doklam and both sides have moved additional troops, ammunition and military equipment to the area.
The stand-off emerged after Chinese troops were stopped by the Indian Army from constructing roads along the Doklam border.
The two sets of troops then confronted each other close to a highly strategic valley controlled by China that separates India from Bhutan – a close Indian ally – and gives China access to the so-called Chicken’s Neck, a slither of land that connects India to its remote northeastern regions.