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Doklam standoff ends: PM Narendra Modi to visit China for BRICS summit

No clarity on construction activities coming to a close in the disputed region

Archis Mohan  |  New Delhi 

PM Modi with Xi Jinping
PM Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping at 2016 BRICS Summit in Goa.| Photo: Reuters

A little over 24 hours after and announced an end to their military stand-off in the Doklam region, on Tuesday confirmed that Prime Minister will travel to to attend the Summit from September 3 to 5.

While neither side stated whether has indeed committed to halting its road construction in the Doklam area, which was the bone of contention, sources on the Indian side claimed the PM’s visit to to attend the (Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa) Summit was confirmed only after South Block received an assurance from on the issue. From China, will travel to Myanmar for a state visit, his first to that country, from September 5 to 7.

According to sources on the Indian side, the Doklam deal between and was struck around 5 am on Monday, with issuing a press statement at 12 noon. But, there is still no clarity on whether the Chinese have withdrawn their road construction equipment from the area. In a statement, the Bhutanese foreign ministry welcomed the disengagement between the two sides. It hoped peace and tranquility, and “status quo” along the borders of Bhutan, and would be maintained, keeping with the existing agreements between the respective countries. A 2012 border agreement between and prohibits construction of a road in the Doklam area, which and claim to be Bhutanese territory.

on Tuesday continued to evade any direct response on whether it had stopped the road construction in Doklam. When asked, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson at a press briefing on Tuesday said: “will take into consideration all relevant factors, including the weather, while building it. In order to meet the needs of defending borders, improving living conditions, has long engaged in infrastructure development, including the road construction.”

Hua said Chinese border troops will continue to station and patrol the Doklam area. “We will continue to exercise our sovereignty with historic conventions,” Hua said.

According to a PTI report from Beijing, the Chinese spokesperson “parried” a question on whether is in consultation with Bhutan, which has protested the Chinese troops’ road construction in Doklam. “So far, we have resolved the issue of illegal trespass of the Indian troops,” she said.

Hua said: “Peaceful resolution of the issue through diplomatic channels serves the common interests of all relevant parties.” She said it showed “the sincerity and responsible attitude of as a major country.”

In a report published Tuesday morning, the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, suggested the disengagement was a “win-win”. It even commented the “the Age of Hegemony has become history”, but was silent on whether has committed to halting its road construction.

The report, headlined “Dong Lang stand-off peacefully resolved via diplomatic means”, harped on having pulled back all its “trespassing border personnel and equipment” from Doklam, which the Chinese call Dong Lang, ending the two-month long military stand-off “triggered by India’s illegal incursion”.

The report said the withdrawal of Indian troops “has laid a foundation for the further development of China-relation”. It said it was “good to see that the two countries have solved the conflict peacefully”, which served the interests of both the countries.

Interestingly, the report observed that "the Age of Hegemony has become history." It stated: "All countries need to see that no matter who they are dealing with, the fundamental basis is mutual respect, mutual benefit, and win-win cooperation."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said hoped to get the "support and coordination from all relevant parties" for the success of the Summit.

First Published: Wed, August 30 2017. 00:49 IST
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