No Change In Status Quo At Doklam, Says Sushma Swaraj

In August last year, both India and China announced that they had withdrawn all their troops from Doklam

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No Change In Status Quo At Doklam, Says Sushma Swaraj

Sushma Swaraj and VK Singh address a press conference in New Delhi on Monday (PTI)


New Delhi:  Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj today said there is no change in status quo in Doklam and the position of China and Bhutan on the matter continues to exist as before.

"There has been no change in the situation at the Doklam faceoff site. Status quo is continuing," Ms Swaraj told reporters in New Delhi.

She was addressing a press conference on the fourth anniversary of the National Democratic Alliance government.

The tension began in June last year when Indian troops entered the Doklam plateau to stop the Chinese military from building a new road, which New Delhi viewed as a serious security concern because of the access it provides to Beijing.

Chinese military positions in Doklam would have been in a position to strike targets in the "Chicken's Neck" -- a strip of land in West Bengal's Siliguri, which connects India with the states in the north-east.

In August last year, both India and China announced that they had withdrawn all their troops from Doklam.

Any attempt by China to change the status quo along the Indian border may lead to another Doklam-like stand-off, India's envoy to China Gautam Bambawale has said, adding that the best way to prevent such incidents is through candid and frank talks.

India has also pinned the genesis of the Doklam crisis on China, asserting that it was the communist nation that first tried to change the "status quo" in the disputed plateau, eventually leading to the over three-month-long military standoff.

"The Chinese military changed the status quo in the Doklam area and therefore India reacted to it. Ours was a reaction to the change in the status quo by the Chinese military," Gautam Bambawale had told Hong Kong-based daily South China Morning Post in March.

Following the Indian ambassador's remarks, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said that "Donglong (Doklam) belongs to China because we have historical conventions."

"China's activities there (Doklam) are within our sovereign rights. There is no such thing as changing status quo," Hua had told reporters in March.


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