In a big development in Doklam standoff, India and China reach consensus on disengagement of border personnel at Doklam faceoff site. A statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs, states that “India and China have maintained diplomatic communication in respect of the incident at Doklam. During these communications, we were able to express our views and convey our concerns and interests.” On the basis of communication between the two nations, it was decided that “expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is on-going.”
Chinese state media, Xinhua news, confirms withdrawal of border personnel at face-off site at Doklam. This decision comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China for BRICS Summit. Top diplomatic sources tell Republic TV that troop withdrawal is in progress in Doklam and more developments are expected as the day unfolds.
The source said, “Mature diplomacy at play by India and China” and added that “China to issue a statement within the next couple of hours.” Diplomats from both countries have reached consensus after hectic parleys and negotiations, sources say.
The agreement to disengage in Doklam, claimed by China as its own territory, comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China for the BRICS summit. The summit will take place between September 3-5 in Xiamen in China in which PM Modi could attend. He had earlier met Chinese premier Xi Jinping in an informal BRICS discussion on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg even as the standoff was going on.
As per sources, Doklam disengagement is an outcome of multilevel communications. Top diplomats, foreign secretaries, NSA Ajit Doval along with top Army officials met continuously and the final decision was taken a few hours back, sources add.
The Doklam stand-off, which had caused a souring of ties between India and China, focused on China’s PLA’s attempts to build a road that encroaches upon Bhutan’s sovereignty, which India has been the primary guardian of since 1949.
The standoff had begun in June when Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops began constructing a concrete road in Doklam in Bhutanese territory. The Doklam plateau overlooks the strategic Chumbi Valley. The Indian troops promptly halted the construction work, forming a human chain, calling it a change in ‘status-quo’ with serious security implications for India.
India believes that the Chinese have an eye on the Jampheri ridge, which is of utmost military importance for India. Beijing’s strategic equities in the Doklam plateau have multiplied in recent years, with the upgrading of the road from Lhasa to Yadong, which allows the 500-km journey to be made in just seven hours. The road, which passes through Bhutan’s territory, has significantly enhanced China’s military logistics in the region, which faces out on to India’s defences in the so-called Chicken’s Neck, through which all roads to the North-East must pass.