India-China border row: NSA Ajit Doval likely to visit Beijing for BRICS NSAs meeting on 27 and 28 July

As the border standoff between India and China in Doka La, Sikkim continues, reports said that National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval is likely to visit Beijing for the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) NSAs meeting scheduled to take place on 27 and 28 July.

If the NSA does end up visiting Beijing, it will be a crucial trip and a probable step to resolve the almost-month-old border dispute. The Indian Express also reported that the meeting will be hosted by Doval's counterpart and Chinese state councillor Yang Jiechi. Both Doval and Jiechi are special representatives designated by their respective governments to discuss border issues.

File image of Ajit Doval. AFP

File image of Ajit Doval. AFP

India on Thursday had maintained that the current border standoff in Doklam would be resolved diplomatically, similar to how all its disputes with Beijing in the past had been solved using diplomatic channels.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay had said diplomatic channels were "available" to the two countries that would continue to be used.

He had referred to a "conversation" between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg last week "where they spoke on a range of issues".

"As far as the Doklam issue is concerned, you know we have diplomatic channels. Embassies are there in both the countries and those channels will continue to be used," Baglay had said in his weekly media briefing.

India and China are locked in a standoff in the Doklam area in Sikkim sector near the Bhutan tri-junction for over three weeks after the Chinese army attempted to build a road in the disputed narrow stretch of land.

Doklam is the Indian name for the region which China refers to as Donglong.

Asked about the provocative statements from China and the Chinese media over the border issue, the spokesperson had said that the government had "clearly laid out" its position and approach to deal with the matter.

"We have referred to how the two governments have been engaged in the last few years in addressing this issue, the boundary matter and the tri-junction. We have also mentioned understandings between the two countries," he had said.

Baglay had referred to Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar's speech in Singapore earlier this week when he had said that India and China have handled their border issues in the past and there was no reason why they would not be able to deal with it this time.

"He (Jaishankar) referred to the understanding between the two leaders (Modi and Xi) which essentially underlines the approach we are following in this regard. So, we are very much seized of the matter, we are very much sure of the approach that is being taken and that is where it stands," the spokesperson had said.

On Wednesday, Chinese foreign office spokesman Geng Shuang had dismissed Jaishankar's remarks, saying the "trespass" by the Indian troops in Doklam was different from the "frictions in the undefined sections of the boundary" between India and China.

Asked if Modi and Xi particularly talked about the Doklam issue, Baglay had refused a direct reply, saying, "I would leave it to your imagination and common sense to summarise what can be covered in the range of issues."

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jul 14, 2017 07:28 AM

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