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Weather Conditions Will Decide China’s Road Construction Plans in Doklam

The Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying, on Tuesday, while replying to specific queries by reporters in this regard, gave no explicit assurance that China end all construction activities in the region.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:August 29, 2017, 6:50 PM IST
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Weather Conditions Will Decide China’s Road Construction Plans in Doklam
National flags of India (left) and China. (Image for representation only)

New Delhi: A day after India announced mutual dis-engagement at the Doklam tri-junction to end the border impasse, the Chinese foreign ministry in a statement seemed to have consciously taken a vague stand on its efforts to construct a road in the plateau area bordering Sikkim.

The Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying, on Tuesday, while replying to specific queries by reporters in this regard, gave no explicit assurance that China end all construction activities in the region.

“China will take into account all relevant factors including the weather and will make plans in accordance with the situation on the ground,” Chunying said in a statement.

For the sceptics in India, this would be far from assuring. However, immediately after Hua's statement, the Indian Foreign Ministry in Delhi confirmed Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be travelling to Xiamen next week for the BRICS summit.

India is confident that dis-engagement is mutual and, that fresh statements from the Chinese side are primarily for domestic consumption.

First signs of thaw came from the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi early on Monday. In a statement, MEA claimed “expeditious disengagement of border personnel” has been agreed to at the face-off site in Doklam and is ongoing.

A little over an hour later, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that India has “pulled back all of its personnel and equipment to the Indian side of the border.” It further said that it was “going to exercise its sovereignty and uphold its territorial integrity in accordance with historical conventions.”

Things took an interesting turn, later in the day on Monday, when New Delhi released another statement.

Expanding on its earlier statement MEA said, that “expeditious disengagement of border personnel of India and China at the face-off site at Doklam was ongoing.”

Both statements however, were ambiguous in the sense that neither party made any definitive mention of the road that Chinese soldiers were attempting to build in Doklam which forced India to up the ante.

Several media reports quoted Indian defence sources as saying that China had, indeed, withdrawn its bulldozer from the road building site in Doklam. Experts CNN News18 spoke to said that China and India were playing very safe for now so that the border events do not cast a shadow on BRICS meeting.

“Nobody likes a border dispute hanging in the air at an event aimed at showing strength,” said one expert. The disengagement notwithstanding, both sides continue to maintain ambiguity on some issues related to the detente.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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