India and China should work together to come up with “some better sort of arrangement” for peace, the US said today, expressing concern over the standoff between their troops in the Sikkim sector. Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a face- off in the Dokalam area of the Sikkim sector for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area. “I know that the US is concerned about the ongoing situation there,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters at her daily news conference. She was responding to questions on the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Dokalam area.
“We believe that both parties, both sides should work together to try to come up with some better sort of arrangement for peace,” Nauert said. Earlier, a State Department official told PTI that the US encourages India and China to engage in a direct dialogue to reduce border tensions. China claimed that they were constructing the road within their territory and has been demanding immediate pull-out of the Indian troops from the disputed Dokalam plateau.
New Delhi has expressed concern over the road building, apprehending that it may allow Chinese troops to cut India’s access to its northeastern states. India has conveyed to the Chinese government that the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for it. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.
Of the 3,488-km-long India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-km section falls in Sikkim.