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Sikkim standoff: Ajit Doval to attend Brics NSAs meeting in China

LiveMint logoLiveMint 27-07-2017 K. J. M. Varma

Beijing: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is in China to attend Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (Brics) top security officials meeting beginning on Thursday during which he is expected to hold talks with Chinese state councillor Yang Jiechi on the ongoing Sikkim standoff.

Doval arrived here on Wednesday to take part in the two-day Brics NSAs meeting being hosted by Yang. His visit has raised expectations about the likelihood of India and China finding a solution to the over a month-long standoff at Doklam area in the Sikkim sector.

Both Doval and Yang are special representatives of the India-China border mechanism. As per the official programme, Doval will also call on Chinese president Xi Jinping on Friday along with fellow top security officials of the Brics countries.

Chinese and Indian troops have been locked in a face-off in the trijunction area for more than a month since Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the area. China claimed that it was constructing the road within its territory.

India protested the construction, fearing it would allow China to cut India’s access to its northeastern states. Ahead of Doval’s visit, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Wednesday reiterated that no meaningful dialogue can be held with India until it “unconditionally” withdraws troops from the Doklam area.

Lu also said foreign minister Wang Yi has authoritatively made Beijing’s position clear on the issue. Though China continued to maintain that there won’t be a meaningful dialogue without the withdrawal of Indian troops, the Chinese foreign ministry has hinted of a bilateral meeting between Doval and Yang which is part of the tradition of Brics NSAs meeting.

About the Brics NSAs meeting, Lu told media that “the meeting on security issues is a major platform for Brics countries to discuss and conduct cooperation in politics and security fields”. “It bears great significance for these countries to strengthen strategic communication, enhance political mutual trust and elevate their impact on global affairs,” Lu said.

He said that discussions will be held on topics, including global governance, anti-terrorism, internet security and energy security, as well as major international and regional hotspot issues. PTI

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