India Abroad

After Agreeing To End Doklam Standoff, China Appears To Go Back On Its Words

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
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| August 28 , 2017 , 17:25 IST

India and China on Monday said that they have ended the Doklam standoff. However, both the countries have given different statements on how the resolution to end the two-month-long confrontation was achieved.

While India says both countries will withdraw troops, China suggests it will be only India which will be doing so.

India said that the truce was achieved through diplomatic talks. "In recent weeks, India and China have maintained diplomatic communication in respect of the incident at Doklam," the Foreign Ministry said. "On this basis, expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is ongoing."

ALSO READ: Big Breakthrough In Doklam Standoff: India, China Agree To Disengage Troops

However, China quickly stressed that it was the Indian soldiers alone who were withdrawing from the plateau located at the Sikkim border. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Chinese troops would continue to patrol the Doklam region, which is claimed as their own by both Bhutan and China.

"China will continue to exercise sovereignty rights to protect territorial sovereignty in accordance with the rules of the historical boundary," she said.

Opposition leaders have sought clarity from the government on what exactly had transpired. Senior government sources said that in back-channel talks, both sides had agreed to disengage troops.

Indian military sources said that troops have begun moving out but the withdrawal will not be completed on Monday. They also said that India's primary concern had been not to stop Chinese patrols but prevent the new road which would give Beijing access to the "Chicken's Neck" - a strategic wedge between India and north-eastern states like Sikkim.

Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj told Parliament that India was pushing for both sides to pull back their soldiers while continuing dialogue. 

ALSO READ: Doklam-Like Incidences Likely To Increase In Future, Says Army Chief Bipin Rawat

The ending of the conflict comes weeks ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to China for a meeting of top leaders of BRICS nations.

India had backed Bhutan's claim in the dispute, which started in June, and said that its troops crossed the border at Sikkim to stop the China from constructing a new road near the plateau that would give it access to India's north-eastern states. Bhutan has no diplomatic relations with China and says it asked India to stop what it sees as an incursion by Beijing.

China had furiously stated that it was building a road on its own terrain, and India had "illegally transgressed" the border at Sikkim.

Once Indian soldiers crossed into Doklam on June 15, Chinese soldiers moved to confront them and the two sides have since maintained 300 troops standing, guns down, about 300 metres apart.