Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a standoff for over a month
Diplomatic channels with India remained "unimpeded" to discuss the military standoff
in the Sikkim sector, China said today, adding Indian troops' withdrawal from Dokalam is a "precondition" for any meaningful dialogue. "Our diplomatic channel is unimpeded," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang told reporters, confirming talks between Indian and Chinese missions to resolve the standoff.
Mr Lu, however, said "the withdrawal of the Indian border personnel is the precondition for any meaningful dialogue and communication between the two countries".
In New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the matter can be resolved
through talks. "We are willing to talk, but both sides have to first take back their armies," she told the Rajya Sabha.
Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a standoff for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from constructing a road near Dokalam plateau.
India has conveyed to China that the construction of the road would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for New Delhi.
The standoff is expected to figure prominently during the visit of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval to Beijing for the meeting of NSAs from BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - from July 26-27.
Chinese officials say while there may not be a formal meeting between Mr Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, there can be informal talks between the two officials, who are also the special representatives of their countries for the border talks.
Both countries have so far held 19 rounds of talks. Earlier this month, China had refused to acknowledge that Chinese President Xi Jinping even met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany as the standoff continued.