A day after standoff ends, Modi’s China visit for Sept 3-5 Brics announced.
New Delhi: A day after both Indian and Chinese troops withdrew from the standoff site at Doklam, India officially announced the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to China from September 3 to 5 for the Brics summit, which is being held in the Chinese city of Xiamen, as a chastened and now-cautious China said it would take into account “all relevant factors, including the weather” before deciding on road construction in Doklam.
India’s Navy Chief Adm. Sunil Lanba was, meanwhile, quoted by PTI as saying that China was “very shrill” in its (earlier) media comments on the (just-ended) Doklam standoff, but that India had kept quiet and that worked. Bhutan on Tuesday welcomed the resolution of the situation at Doklam, saying it hoped this contributes to the maintenance of peace and tranquillity and status quo along the borders of the three countries in keeping with all the existing agreements.
In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “In order to meet the needs of defending the borders, improving living conditions, China has long engaged in infrastructure development, including road construction. We will take into consideration all relevant factors, including weather, to make relevant construction plans in accordance with the situation on the ground.” She added that Chinese border troops “will continue to station and patrol the Doklam area. We will continue to exercise our sovereignty with historic conventions.” In New Delhi, the external affairs ministry said: “At the invitation of the President of the People’s Republic of China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Xiamen in China’s Fujian province during September 3-5, 2017 to attend the 9th Brics summit. Subsequently, the Prime Minister will pay a state visit to Myanmar from September 5-7, 2017 at the invitation of H.E. U Htin Kyaw, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. This will be Prime Minister Modi’s first bilateral state visit to Myanmar. During the visit, the PM will hold discussions with state counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on matters of mutual interest and also call on President U Htin Kyaw. Apart from his engagements in the capital city of Nay Pyi Taw, he will visit Yangon and Bagan.”
In its statement, Bhutan said on Tuesday: “Bhutan welcomes the disengagement by the two sides at the faceoff site in the Doklam area. We hope this contributes to the maintenance of peace and tranquillity and status quo along the borders of Bhutan, China and India in keeping with the existing agreements between the respective countries.”
The timing of the MEA’s statement on Mr Modi’s visit to China clearly indicates that the visit may have been linked by New Delhi to some resolution of the standoff in view of Beijing’s earlier belligerence. Decks appear to have been cleared for the visit the moment an agreement was reached by the two countries to end the standoff that had lasted for more than two months.