Exchanges, cooperation between India-China can soothe ties: Chinese envoy

Marsha Scott
August 6, 2017

So, it is reassuring to hear India's external affairs minister rule out war as an option and talk about diplomacy as the only solution for India's current standoff with China. Asked about China's claim of India reducing its troops from 400 to 40 in Dokalam, he refused to give a direct reply calling it an operational matter. Apart from better bilateral relations with China, resolution of border disputes - not just the jousting over Doka La - and peace in the region, India also wants to retain its traditional friendship with Bhutan.

He said he had never advocated in favour of India allowing CPEC.

Countering Chinese contention, sources in New Delhi maintained that around 350 Indian Army personnel have been in Dokalam for last six weeks after China tried to build a road in the area, triggering the standoff.

China's foreign ministry said in a statement that the Indian military was still in Chinese territory, and that China had acted with a great deal of restraint, demanding that India withdraw its forces. At the same time, China has once said in a threatening tone that India should not test its patience on the Doklam dispute because there is also a limit to patience.

The Chinese media, well known to reflect the government's views, in an editorial on Saturday said that the "hard line stances" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi are pushing India towards war and jeopardising India's peaceful development.

"No country should underestimate the Chinese forces'. resolve and willpower to defend national sovereignty", he said in a post on the ministry website. However, External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday (3 August) made India's stand clear by ruling out the possibility of a war and said that dialogue will be the only way out.

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India, meanwhile, claims Chinese troops entered and tried to construct a road in Bhutanese territory.

The Chinese foreign ministry, the defense ministry, the Chinese Embassy in India and the People's Daily have time and again urged India to withdraw its troops, failing which China's People's Liberation Army would be forced to take action.

Even though there are some signs that the India-China standoff in Doklam is thawing on the ground, Beijing is keeping up its strident rhetoric.

Ren said the Chinese military "has remained highly restrained", but "the restraint is not without a bottom line". The Chinese daily said that Modi is gambling with the country's future and the lives of its people, as a war would make China an easy victor.

Earlier in June, according to reports from China, Indian guards crossed into China's Donglang region and obstructed work on a road in the valley, whilst confronting Chinese troops.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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