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Modi and Xi Decided at SCO Differences Can’t Become Disputes, Says MEA

The de-escalation at Doklam comes just a week before the BRICS summit in China that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend.

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Updated:August 28, 2017, 7:49 PM IST
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Modi and Xi Decided at SCO Differences Can’t Become Disputes, Says MEA
PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the SCO summit.
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New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs on Monday said that the process of disengagement of Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam has almost been completed under verification.

In a statement, the ministry said that the two countries had agreed in June itself that the differences should not be allowed to escalate into disputes and that India-China relations must remain stable.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Kazakhstan capital Astana on June 9. The two had underscored the need to respect each other’s core concerns and appropriately handle all disagreements.

The MEA further said that India's principled position has been that agreements and understandings reached on boundary issues must be scrupulously respected. “Peace and tranquility at the border are an essential pre-requisite for further development of bilateral ties between India and China,” the statement read.

The de-escalation comes just a week before the BRICS summit in China that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend.

Troops of the two countries have been locked in a standoff in Dokalam for over two months after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area.

The MEA statement did not explicitly say if Chinese and Indian troops have withdrawn from the area but China claimed in a statement that Indian troops have indeed pulled back. China, however, remained ambiguous about the status of its own troops.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing, "Chinese troops on the ground have verified it. China continues to exercise sovereignty. China will make adjustments according to the situation."

Asked if the Chinese statement means that China has not made any concession, officials in New Delhi said expeditious disengagement implies withdrawal of both parties because a unilateral withdrawal by India would not have needed or required an agreement with China.

“In recent weeks, India and China have maintained diplomatic communication in respect of the incident at Dokalam. During these communications, we were able to express our views and convey our concerns and interests,” the MEA statement said

“On this basis, expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site in Doklam has been agreed to and is on-going,” it added.
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