Sikkim row: India-China talks during NSA Doval's Beijing visit uncertain

Doval was expected to hold a meeting with his Chinese counterpart to discuss the Sikkim standoff between the two nations.

Beijing: China on Monday put a question mark on meeting between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi to discuss the Sikkim standoff. Doval is scheduled to visit Beijing between July 27 and July 28.

Beijing has maintained its stand of no dialogue between the two neighbours until India withdraw its troops from Doklam area, according to a report in Hindustan Times.

Doval is visiting China later in July for the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in Beijing. Doval was expected to hold a meeting with his Chinese counterpart to discuss the Sikkim standoff between the two nations.

However, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang on Monday said that talks between India and China on the Sikkim row is unlikely.

“On bilateral meetings, I do not have the relevant information right now. As far as we know, in previous meetings, usually it is arranged for the heads of delegations to hold meetings to exchange views on bilateral relations and other international issues,” Lu said.

“The crux now is Indian border troops illegally stayed on China’s territory. Once again, we urge India to pull back to the Indian side of the boundary. I want to stress that this is the precondition for any meaningful talks between the two sides,” Lu said.

Despite mentioning the fact that China and India have a smooth diplomatic channel, the spokesperson said, “India has the responsibility for initiating dialogue on the standoff, which has entered its second month”.

“China hopes to maintain peace and stability of border areas but China will not make any compromise on sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said. “The responsibility for this incident lies completely with India and we hope India can get a clear understanding of the situation and can take swift and correct measures to avoid escalation of the situation.”

Earlier in June, the tri-junction disputed Doklam area between India-Bhutan-China is claimed by Beijing as their territory; however, the area belongs to the Himalayan state.

The two sides' troops then confronted each other close to a valley controlled by China that separates India from its close ally, Bhutan, and gives China access to the so-called Chicken's Neck, a thin strip of land connecting India and its remote northeastern regions.

India has warned China that construction of the road near their common border would have serious security implications.

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