China’s stand on the recent Dokalam dispute in Sikkim sector has been unusually aggressive and articulate, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar told a parliamentary panel today, according to some committee members.
Jaishankar, who was briefing the panel on external affairs, maintained that New Delhi is engaged with Beijing in defusing tension through diplomatic channels. The comments were relayed to reporters by some of the 20 members who were present in the meeting.
The foreign secretary told the panel that India has clearly outlined its position on the border and Chinese have their own position, but they are misinterpreting it so India was trying to clarify it.
He said that India has been maintaining the same position since 1895 as per an Anglo-Chinese agreement.
“Jaishankar told us that China’s aggression and rhetoric on the recent standoff is unusual but it is not that complicated as it is being projected in some quarters. We will continue to engage with them through diplomatic channels,” one of the members said.
The words like “war-like situation or conflict” were not used by the Foreign Secretary as he stuck to the word standoff to describe the current situation at Dokalam, another member said.
Both members spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the meeting.
Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a face- off for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the area.
During the meeting, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who is also member of the panel, asked if China was trying to send a message to Bhutan that India could not help it, according to one of the members.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, the panel chairman, CPI (M) MP Mohammad Salim, TMC MP Sugata Bose and BJP MP Sharad Tripathi were among those who attended the briefing.
Not too long ago, China had rejected India’s peace overture over the ongoing stand-off at the border near Sikkim and even offered to mediate on Kashmir issue involving Pakistan.
While reacting to Jaishankar’s remarks that the two countries will be able to handle the Sikkim standoff as they have dealt with such border differences in the past, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, said that China had pointed out many times that the Indian border troops “illegally trespassed” a mutually recognised border line.