Congress urges Centre to resolve India-China border stand-off diplomatically

Reacting to the Chinese Foreign Office spokesperson's remarks that China was ready to mediate between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said cross-border terrorism was at the heart of the issues between New Delhi and Islamabad. It warned India that China will have to take the necessary precautions to protect its territory and its soldiers and India will have to take responsibility for that.

"Since then both nations (India and Bhutan) share cordial relations that mutually suit both sides", said the analyst, who wished not to be named.

The standoff between India and China on the Doklam Plateau, adjoining the tri-junction between India, China and Bhutan, is now a month-old and shows no signs of ending.

Centre will on Friday brief opposition parties on the border dispute between India and China in the Sikkim region, days after Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi met the Chinese ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui over the standoff.

The standoff at the top of the world, where China, India and Bhutan converge, is over a tiny, but strategically important strip of land controlled by China, and claimed by Bhutan.

"Both China and India are trying to politicise Bhutan's situation to their advantage, but history tells us that Bhutan has been better at handling China than India, in more ways than one", Bhutanese worldwide relations specialist Passang Dorji told Nepali Times.

Meanwhile, the Centre is under fire from the opposition for the way it handled the Sikkim border issue and the Kashmir situation. "The unique nature of very close and longstanding India - Bhutan relationship was recognised", said MEA Spox.

"It is not for me to comment on what ground the two leaders covered", he added.

The Congress said it would attend a briefing of opposition parties by the government on the stand-off with China and the Kashmir situation later today, and asked the Modi dispensation to "share full information" on the issues. "What the Indian government pursues is to use the peace talks as a cover to encroach on China's territory and change its status quo".

Stating that the NDA government has "increased" profile of the Dalai Lama, the CPI (M) said the spiritual leader's visit to Arunachal Pradesh along with a Union minister and his recent unfurling of Tibetan flag of the provisional government in Ladakh are "serious irritants" for China.

  • Rogelio Becker