New Delhi, July 18: Amid the growing tensions between China and India in the disputed territory of Doklam, a former United States diplomat said that China needs to acknowledge the fact that India is a force to be reckoned with. Indian-American Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal told PTI that the countries in the region are unsettled by the standoff between the Indian Army and China’s PLA in the Doklam and are unsettled by Beijing’s behaviour.

“China has more to gain through diplomacy and dialogue than it does through these kinds of actions, which create a great deal of unease and uncertainty,” Biswal said, on India-China border standoff. “While I understand that sentiment within China, that I think seeks to try to assert China as a dominant player across the Asia-Pacific, I think China has to content with the fact that across its geography, throughout the Asia-Pacific region, countries are unsettled by its behavior and by its unilateral actions,” she said. “China, I think, needs to acknowledge the fact that there is growing strategic and security capability across Asia, and certainly India is a force to be reckoned with,” said Nisha Desai. Biswal, who was the Obama Administration’s point person for South and Central Asia, said that a lot of assertive actions and signals have been sent from China across many different border points, maritime and land, across its geography.

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“So now is an important time to create some greater codification of the rules and, to create more channels for dialogue and diplomacy to address some of these areas of tension and differences on how various boundary and maritime claims are resolved,” she said. “China is a very mature and calibrated power. It’s not a rogue actor, in any sense of the word. And certainly I think that the Indian side has also acted with a great deal of resolve and a great deal of restraint,” she said.

About the growing tensions between India and China, Biswal said that “both countries have it within themselves to resolve those tensions, to diffuse those tensions”. The US, she said, has a role to play in the China-India-Sikkim standoff by ensuring that the international rules are followed. “Certainly, I think that the US, by standing firm on its commitment towards the rules-based international order and the importance of dialogue and dispute resolution, can signal its own strong preference for these kinds of mechanisms to de-escalate and to resolve differences,” she said.

Earlier, China held an ’11-hour military drill, in the southern part of Tibet Autonomous Region, close to the borders of Arunachal Pradesh. According to the reports of Beijing’s national broadcaster – China Central Television (CCTV) – the drill was held to enable a quick movement of troops in war like situations.