Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told India’s Parliament that the Chinese action in the trijunction region of India, Bhutan and China was a threat to India when opposition lawmakers asked her about the ongoing standoff. She claimed that many countries are supporting India’s stance.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — Indian experts hoped the upcoming visit of India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval to Beijing to attend a BRICS meeting could help bring about a negotiated resolution to the current standoff.
A former intelligence officer in India's Research and Analysis Wing, Doval is considered a key official in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government security architecture.
"We should wait for Ajit Doval's Beijing visit next week. Although he is going to attend a BRICS-related meeting, there can also be some headway in the Sikkim standoff. Doval is pragmatic and is one of the most trusted officials of the current establishment and his meeting with his Chinese counterpart could see significant progress," Retired Commodore C. Uday Bhaskar, a distinguished fellow of the Society for Policy Studies, told Sputnik.
"China intends to unilaterally change the status of the tri-junction with Bhutan, which poses a challenge to India's security. India is not unreasonable on the tri-junction and all nations are with it. The law is with our country," Swaraj said in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Indian Parliament.
While responding to supplementary questions, she informed the Rajya Sabha that there was a written agreement between India, China and Bhutan in 2012 that the three nations will decide together the boundaries at the tri-junction point.
The Indian minister also said that the boundaries between India and China are yet to be finalized and the two nations will do that bilaterally through discussions. China and Bhutan will also make their border decision through bilateral talks.
Swaraj said the matter can be resolved through talks. "We are willing to talk, but both sides have to first take back their armies."
China has also said that talks are possible only if the Indian Army moves back.
The standoff began when China tried to build a road in the Doklam area, which Bhutan claims as its territory. India became party to the dispute because of the terms of its treaty with Bhutan. India also considers the Doklam tri-junction a strategic point and does not want to give strategic advantage to the Chinese in the region.
This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.