Doka La standoff put 'severe' strain on bilateral ties: Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi tells Sushma Swaraj

Beijing: At his meeting with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said that the military standoff in Doka La had put a "severe" strain on bilateral ties.

The Chinese foreign ministry on Tuesday released a statement detailing what Wang told Sushma Swaraj during their bilateral meet in New Delhi where the Chinese leader attended the Russia, India and China trilateral meet.

Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart  Wang Yi. PTI

Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. PTI

According to the statement, Wang also said that lessons should be learned from Doka La crisis so that it does not happen again even though the crisis was resolved peacefully.

"The viciousness caused by the cross-border infiltration of the Indian border guards put bilateral relations under severe pressure.

"The matter was finally settled peacefully through diplomatic means, reflecting the maturing of bilateral relations. However, lessons should be learned and (it) should not happen again," Wang was quoted as saying.

"In 2017, relations between China and India have maintained their momentum of development as a whole. Both sides have made efforts in this regard, but they are not very satisfactory," the foreign minister said.

The armies of both countries were locked in a 73-day stand-off at Doka La in the Sikkim section of China-Indian border over the building of a road by the Chinese military in the area that is claimed by Bhutan.

Indian troops stalled the work citing the disputed status of Doka La and its proximity to its key artery in the northeast. The crisis was resolved on 28 August after both the armies retreated from the point of the face-off.

It was Wang's first visit to India since the Doka La crisis.

"The leaders of the two countries pointed out that both China and India should regard each other as partners rather than adversaries."

Wang said that China-India relations were at a crucial period and the most important thing between them should be to cultivate mutual trust.

"With mutual trust, the specific problems are expected to be resolved on the basis of mutual understanding and mutual accommodation.

"Without mutual trust, individual problems will continue to overflow and erode the overall situation of bilateral relations.

"To this end, both sides should strengthen strategic communication at all levels, restore the established dialogue mechanism, deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields and at the same time control the existing differences and safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas.

"If China and India speak with one voice, the world will listen. I hope this day will come soon," Wang was quoted as saying.

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Updated Date: Dec 12, 2017 19:53 PM

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