In­dia Sidesteps China Bid to Delink Dokalam from SR Talks

Bei­jing has said that the cur­rent stand-off was ‘out of the purview’ of the Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tives

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: In­dia has sidestepped a Chi­ne­seat­temptto delink the Dokalam stand­off from the Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive mech­a­nism to find a so­lu­tion to the 4,057-km-long Line of Ac­tual Con­trol that di­vides the two na­tions.

Bei­jing had said that the cur­rent stand­off was ‘out of the purview’ of the Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials. Bei­jing­claimedthat since the boundary at Sikkim Sec­tor had al­ready been de­lim­ited, as per Chi­nese ver­sion, by the 1890 con­ven- tion be­tween UK and China, the SR mech­a­nism had no scope.

NewDelhi,how­ever,pointed­out­thatwhile the sta­tus of Sikkim as an in­te­gral part of In­dia had been set­tled in 2003, the boundary in the sec­tor re­mained un­set­tled and was a mat­ter of ne­go­ti­a­tion be­tween SRs. The as­pects of tri-junc­tion (Sino-BhutanIn­dia)pointsa­longSikki­mandIn­dia-China boundary alignment in the Sikkim sec­tor re­main­un­set­tledand­was­re­ferre­d­i­nawrit­ten com­mon un­der­stand­ing be­tween the SRs in De­cem­ber 2012.

Ac­cord­ing to this un­der­stand­ing, the tri­junc­tion­bor­der­has­tobe­set­tledtri­lat­er­ally though In­dia and Chi­na­have not held any dis­cus­sion with Bhutan since 2012. And there are still steps to be cov­ered be­fore the boundary is fi­nalised on the Sino-In­dian boundary in the Sikkim sec­tor as per the same un­der­stand­ing.

Chi­nese of­fi­cials in­sist that Yang Jiechi had met NSA and SR Ajit Do­val last month in­Bei­jing­in­his­capac­ityasS­tateCoun­cil­lor and­not Spe­cialRep­re­sen­ta­tive.TheIn­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi & Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping at G20 Sum­mit in China last year

side, how­ever, in­di­cated that the cur­rent bor­der stand­off was a key agenda item at that meet held on the side­lines of the Brics NSA meet.

Be­sides diplo­mats, Do­val is in touch with his Chi­nese coun­ter­part Yang to find a so-

lu­tion to the stand­off and New Delhi has hinted that a thaw is in process. For­eign min­is­terSush­maSwara­jwhile­s­peakingin theRa­jyaSab­ha­had­stat­edthat­bi­lat­er­al­ne­go­ti­a­tions were on. “We will keep pa­tience to re­solve the is­sue…We will keep en­gag­ing The tri-junc­tion bor­der has to be set­tled tri­lat­er­ally though In­dia and China have not held any dis­cus­sion with Bhutan since 2012

Chi­nese in­sist that Yang Jiechi had met Ajit Do­val last month in his ca­pac­ity as State Coun­cil­lor & not Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive with China to re­solve the dis­pute,” she had said while ad­ding that both sides were en­gage­d­i­na­di­a­logueon­va­r­i­ousotheraspects of bi­lat­eral ties.

Notwith­stand­ing re­peated rhetoric by Chi­nese schol­ars and for­eign min­istry spokesper­sons, a flare-up on the ground is un­likely ahead ofthe Brics sum­mit as it would be a blow to Bei­jing’s im­age if any PLA ac­tion de­rails the Brics sum­mit. Rus­sia, an­other key stake­holder in Brics, is against any at­tempts that would de­rail the group. A former In­dian diplo­mat who had served in China de­scribed Bei­jing’s rhetoric as art of war — first hit at the en­emy’s mind and de­feat him psy­cho­log­i­cally. “The supreme art of war is to sub­due the en­emy with­out fight­ing,” the diplo­mat said. The Chi­nese are prob­a­bly in­dulging in rhetoric to send mes­sage to neigh­bours in south­east and east Asia who are closely watch­ing the stand­of­fand­prob­a­bly­compar­ing­with­their re­ac­tion on the South China Sea. Of­fi­cials and ex­perts in New Delhi hint that Bei­jing may be look­ing for a face sav­ing­for­mula.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.