External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said the border stand-off with China cannot be resolved through a war but can
be settled through bilateral talks. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, she said “patience is key to resolving problems” because if patience is lost, there can be a provocation on the other side. “We will keep patience to resolve the issue,” she said while referring to the Dokalam stand-off issue with China.
“We will keep engaging with China to resolve the dispute,” Swaraj said while replying to a discussion on “India’s foreign policy and engagement with strategic partners” during which several members voiced concern over the standoff and raised questions over India’s policy. Responding to questions on India’s military preparedness, she said military readiness is always there as the military is meant to fight wars. “But war cannot resolve problems. So wisdom is to resolve diplomatically,” Swaraj said, expressing confidence that the issue can be resolved through bilateral talks.
Swaraj’s stand, however, was quite in contrast to what Chinese foreign ministry said today.
In a statement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the action of the Indian side amounted to that of “irresponsibility and recklessness,” according to PTI. He said that until yesterday, “there were 48 Indian soldiers and one bulldozer” in Doklam area, describing it as illegal intrusion into Chinese territory.
According to India, the area belongs to Bhutan.
Geng said, “In addition, there are still a large number of Indian armed forces congregating on the boundary and on the Indian
side of the boundary,” Geng said, adding, “No matter how many Indian border troops illegally trespassed the boundary and still stay in the Chinese territory, it will not alter the nature of severely violating China’s territorial integrity and contravening the UN Charter.
This incident is illegal under the international law. The Indian side should bear corresponding responsibilities.”
On Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry had issued a 15-page fact sheet with maps and other details about the standoff since it began on June 16, saying 40 Indian troops stayed at Doklam till July end. On India’s statement that peace and tranquillity of the India-China boundary constitutes the important prerequisite for the smooth development of bilateral relations, Geng said India should also show its words in “deeds”. “Indian side is always keeping ‘peace’ on the tip of its tongue. But we should not only listen to its words but also
heed its deeds,” Geng said in the statement.