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No Muscle Flexing, India to Resolve Stand-off With China Through Dialogue

The government explained to the opposition that Bhutan had complained after the its army was unable to dissuade the PLA road construction party from their unilateral action.

Maha Siddiqui | CNN-News18

Updated:July 15, 2017, 7:57 AM IST
S Jaishankar
File photo of S Jaishankar.

Delhi: Sensing a possible opposition onslaught in the Monsoon session of Parliament, the government briefed leaders of 14 political parties on the stand-off with China.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar made a presentation outlining why the matter is of strategic importance to India even though the dispute is over road construction by PLA in Doklam in Bhutan. The government explained to the opposition that Bhutan had complained after the its army was unable to dissuade the PLA road construction party from their unilateral action.

CPI(M) General Secretary who was part of the nearly three-hour long meeting said that the government had stressed that the matter will be 'resolved through dialogue' with China. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, Gopal Baglay in a statement reiterated that the government outlined the 'importance of India and China to remain engaged through diplomacy'. The two sides are in touch over the matter through their embassies even though China has openly displayed belligerence, with the Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui calling the situation "grave".

According to sources, all parties looked satisfied with the briefing and assured the government that they will stand by it on matters of national security, according to LJP leader and Minister Ram Vilas Paswan. However, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma clarified that the Congress will raise the issue of the Modi government's foreign policy in Parliament. They were present at the meeting on Friday.

Rahul Gandhi had questioned the Prime Minister's silence over China in a tweet even as PM Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hamburg on the sidelines of the G20 summit at the BRICS informal meeting. Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav is believed to have advised the government to exercise caution with China. The rest of the political parties are going to be briefed on Saturday.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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