Ahead of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s visit to Beijing for the BRICS security meeting, China on Wednesday reiterated that no dialogue with India would be possible until the withdrawal of Indian troops in Doklam. The Chinese ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) said foreign minister Wang Yi had clearly laid out Beijing’s stand on the issue. “Foreign minister Wang Yi’s authoritative statement is clear enough and needs no further interpretation,” said MFA spokesperson Lu Kang. Wang had said Indian officials had ‘admitted’ to entering Chinese territory and the simple solution was for Indian troops to ‘back out honestly’.
Doval, with representatives from Brazil, Russia and South Africa, will attend the two-day BRICS security summit starting Thursday, hosted by China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi. Doval and Yang are special representatives of the India-China border mechanism. Asked about negotiations between India and China on the border standoff in the Sikkim region, Lu said, “As for any dialogue between the two sides, we have made it clear that the root cause of this incident is the illegal trespassing of the Indian border troops into China’s territory. To resolve this issue, the Indian border troops must withdraw without further ado, as foreign minister Wang Yi said. That would be the precondition and basis for any meaningful dialogue.”
Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a tense standoff on the Doklam plateau — a trijunction between India, China and Bhutan — since mid-June, after China claimed Indian troops had stopped the PLA from constructing a road.