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  India   All India  05 Aug 2017  Doklam standoff: India silent on China claims

Doklam standoff: India silent on China claims

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Aug 5, 2017, 6:07 am IST
Updated : Aug 5, 2017, 6:07 am IST

Will continue to engage with Beijing diplomatically, says MEA

In this image taken from a recent video footage run by China’s CCTV, artillery guns fire during a live-fire drill by the Chinese Army in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region that border India.  Chinese characters in yellow reads “Artillery soldiers high altitude live fire drills”.  	— CCTV via AP Video
 In this image taken from a recent video footage run by China’s CCTV, artillery guns fire during a live-fire drill by the Chinese Army in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region that border India. Chinese characters in yellow reads “Artillery soldiers high altitude live fire drills”. — CCTV via AP Video

New Delhi: India on Friday maintained a studied silence on Chinese claims that China had informed India twice about Beijing’s plans to construct a road in the Doklam area. External affairs ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay said: “I will neither confirm nor deny. I will not like to characterise diplomatic interactions.” 

The MEA said it would not go into “every detail of diplomatic interaction”. India and Bhutan regard Doklam as Bhutanese territory while China calls it Dong Lang, and regards it as its territory.

The spokesman also referred to a June 30 statement on India being in consultation with Bhutan on this matter. 

Indian and Chinese troops are involved in a tense face-off in the area for the past six weeks, but there have been no hostilities as yet. But China has been lashing out at India almost every day, seeking immediate withdrawal of Indian troops from the area.

On Thursday, senior diplomat and China’s deputy chief of mission at its embassy in New Delhi Liu Jinsong had said that China had notified New Delhi twice — on May 18 and June 8 — regarding road construction in the area out of goodwill, but that there was no response from India at that time. He also said the deployment of Indian troops in Doklam was “shocking” for China and accused India of “trampling” on Chinese goodwill. The intimation was apparently given by Chinese troops to Indian troops at the local level twice.

Meanwhile, New Delhi said it continues to engage with Beijing diplomatically to find a mutually-acceptable solution to the Doklam standoff. “We continue to engage with China through diplomatic channels to find a mutually acceptable solution,” Mr Baglay said.

Asked about China’s claim of India reducing its troops from 400 to 48 in Doklam, the MEA spokesman refused to say how many Indian troops were there at Doklam, calling it an operational matter. He said India’s objective was to achieve peace and tranquillity, and that it would be achieved through diplomacy.

Tags: gopal baglay, doklam standoff, chinese troops
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi