External Affairs

Peace in Border Areas Essential for Smooth Relations, India Tells China

Sushma Swaraj. Credit: Reuters

Sushma Swaraj. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj discussed the Doklam episode with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during their bilateral meeting and reiterated that peace and tranquillity in the border areas were essential prerequisites for smooth relations.

Confirming that the issue of Doklam was raised during the meeting between Swaraj and Wang on Monday, external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the Indian leader underlined the need for approaching the bilateral difference with due consideration to each others sensitivities and concerns.

“The external affairs minister and the Chinese foreign minister both noted the challenge it had posed to the relationship and both expressed satisfaction that it was resolved with the disengagement of troops at the face-off site through concerted diplomatic communications,” Kumar said.

He also said Wang said that the peaceful resolution of the Doklam issue reflects the political maturity of both sides.

“While agreeing with this, the external affairs minister reiterated that the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas is an essential pre-requisite for the smooth development of bilateral relations,” he added.

Swaraj also underlined the need for approaching bilateral difference with due consideration to each others sensitivities and concerns, and recalled the consensus reached between the leaders of India and China in Astana earlier this year on the need to work together to ensure that “our difference do not become disputes”.

Kumars remarks came in response to a question regarding media articles on Wangs comments.

According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Wang told Swaraj that “although the standoff ended eventually through diplomatic means more than two months later, lessons must be learned and efforts must be made to avoid such an incident in the future. The standoff put the bilateral relations under severe pressure.”

Kumar said during the bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Russia-India-China (RIC), Wang also said that India and China share the same objectives of national development and should be natural partners.

“To this end, both foreign ministers agreed to strengthen strategic communication at all levels, including between them, through the established dialogue mechanisms,” the spokesperson added.

Chinese and Indian troops were locked in a 73-day border standoff from June 16 when Indian soldiers stopped Chinese personnel from building a key road close to the “tri-junction” with Bhutan.

On August 28, India announced the “disengagement” between the soldiers of the two countries.