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Sikkim standoff: India, China flag meeting remain inconclusive

LiveMint logoLiveMint 12-08-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Senior army officials from India and China on Friday held a flag meeting at Nathu La mountain pass in Sikkim and extensively discussed the Dokalam standoff but the “deliberations remained inconclusive”, sources said.

In the Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) attended by Major General rank officers from both sides, India insisted that the face-off could be resolved through simultaneous withdrawal of troops by the Indian and Chinese sides, they said.

Today’s deliberations follow a meeting between brigade commanders of the two sides on 8 August.

“The meeting remained inconclusive as the Chinese side insisted on withdrawal of Indian troops from Dokalam immediately,” a senior Indian official said.

The BPM set up was launched by both countries to sort out local issues and ensure peace and tranquillity along the sensitive border. The two sides hold BPM in five points which include Daulat Beg Oldie in northern Ladakh, Kibithoo in Arunachal Pradesh, Chusul in Ladakh, Bum-La near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and Nathu-La in Sikkim.

India and China have been locked in a face-off in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector for nearly eight weeks after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the area.

China claimed it was constructing the road within their territory and has been demanding immediate pull-out of the Indian troops from the disputed Doklam plateau. Bhutan says Doklam belongs to it but China claims it to be its territory.

China has been ramping up rhetoric against India over the last few weeks demanding immediate withdrawal of Indian troops from Dokalam. The Chinese state media, particularly, have carried a barrage of critical articles on the Dokalam stand- off slamming India.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had recently said both sides should first pull back their troops for any talks to take place, favouring a peaceful resolution of the border standoff.

India also conveyed to the Chinese government that the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for it.

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