New Delhi, August 28: India and China on Monday mutually agreed to withdraw their troops from Doklam, the tri-junction with Bhutan, in a breakthrough ahead of the BRICS summit in China next week. Following this, reports claimed that China aborted the road construction project, which was the primary point of argument between the two countries, concerning the three nations, India, Bhutan and China. India asserted the role of diplomatic talks in finally arriving at a settlement, after 75 days of tense standoff and said it expected China to respect the understanding.Also Read - India vs Nepal Live Streaming SAFF Championship Final 2021 in India: When And Where to Watch IND vs NEP Live Stream Football Match Online on Discovery+, JIOTV; TV Telecast on Eurosport
On Monday evening, news agency ANI quoted official sources saying that all road building equipment were withdrawn by China, including bulldozers, tents and other construction equipment. It also stated that status quo in the area was restored as it existed two months back prior to the standoff. The Ministry of External Affairs also in an official statement confirmed that the process of disengagement of border personnel of India and China at Doklam has been completed ‘under verification’. Also Read - Apple Removes Quran App in China After Request From Officials
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in the official statement on the Doklam Disengagement Understanding said that India has always maintained that only through diplomatic channels the differences on such an issue can be addressed. “The principled position of India in this regard is that agreements and understandings reached must be scrupulously respected,” the Ministry said. Also Read - India Slips to 101st Rank in Global Hunger Index 2021; Behind Pak, Bangladesh and Nepal
Several experts in this solution to the Doklam issue saw a win of diplomacy. A source quoted by ANI said as India and China are great powers, settling the issue with talks is a triumph of diplomacy. “It was triumph of diplomacy as both India and China, being great powers, agreed to settle issue with dialogue & discussion.”
This diplomatic approach to the issue was already in place before it bore fruit on Monday. In July, amid rising tension and war of words between the two countries, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval visited China to meet his counterpart Yang Jiechi and held discussions. Foreign secretary S Jaishankar, helped by India’s ambassador to China Vijay Gokhale, also led the diplomatic talks with the Chinese side to settle the issue.
Indian external affairs ministry also said that the two countries, when they met in Astana in early June, had also agreed that differences should not be allowed to become disputes and that India-China relations must remain stable. MEA spokesperson Kumar also said that India primarily believes that ‘peace and tranquillity in the border area is an essential prerequisite before development of bilateral ties.’
The official statement also said that in recent weeks, both the countries have maintained diplomatic communication regarding the issue, and in these India was able to express its views and convey its concerns and interests.”
Soon after the MEA announced the ‘disengagement of troops’, Chinese Foreign Office confirmed it, although earlier they said that the Indian troops have withdrawn to Indian territory and the Chinese army will continue to patrol the area. China’s Global Television network also said that China’s defense ministry warned India to draw lessons from Doklam standoff after the withdrawal of troops.
According to top officials quoted by ANI, all embassies wanted India to brief them on developments but India maintained that it will handle the matter on its own. “India stood firm on its ground which made clear to China there would be no backing down and hence we reached a settlement, ” another source said.
Since the beginning of the standoff at Doklam, China have blamed New Delhi for the situation. According to it, Indian troops trespassed into their territory and obstructed their road project. They also recently said India was involved in several road projects in the border area at Ladakh and called India’s stand on Doklam ‘ridiculous’ and hypocritical. Noteworthy that, India deployed troops to Doklam only after after Bhutan informed it of possible Chinese aggression in the area.