India, China Hold 20th Round of Border Talks, the First After Doklam Deadlock
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is meeting China's State Councillor Yang Jiechi in the national capital for the 20th round of Special Representatives talks where the two are likely to deliberate on ways to maintain peace along the 4,000-km-long border between the two Asian giants.
New Delhi: Fresh round of talks were held between India and China under the Special Representatives mechanism, the first such meeting on the sticky boundary issue since the 73-day-long military standoff in Doklam.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met China's State Councillor Yang Jiechi in the national capital for the 20th round of Special Representatives talks where the two are likely to deliberate on ways to maintain peace along the 4,000-km-long border between the two Asian giants.
In the run-up to talks, the Chinese side had described the Doklam standoff as a “major test” for bilateral ties. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said that lessons should be learnt to avoid conflict of this kind in the future.
The Doklam standoff began on June 16 over People's Liberation Army's plans to build a road in area claimed by Bhutan after Indian troops intervened to stop it as it posed a security risk to Chicken Neck, the narrow corridor connecting India with its North-eastern states.
During the standoff, India kept stating that matters should be dealt with as per the Astana consensus wherein it was decided that differences should not become disputes.
India has denied reports that there is a fresh military build-up by China in Doklam. Ministry of External Affairs had called the reports as painting “an alarmist picture”. Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said, "I would like to reiterate that there are no new developments at the face-off site and its vicinity since the August 28 disengagement. Status quo prevails in this area. Any suggestion to the contrary is incorrect and mischievous."
The Doklam issue was also discussed between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her counterpart Wang Yi when he visited India earlier this month. Both sides “noted the challenge it had posed to the relationship”.
Swaraj is believed to have told Yi that there was a need to approach differences with due consideration to each other’s sensitivities and concerns.
Taking this point forward, the NSA is also expected to once again firmly communicate India's concerns with regards to sovereignty on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor running through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Ajit Doval is also expected to raise with Jiechi India's grave disappointment with China blocking a move to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist at the United Nations Security Council.
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