Other countries back India in its standoff with China, said Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj today about the dispute at the border in Sikkim which began more than a month ago. The minister told parliament that ‘both sides must pull back troops and work things out with talks’ while stressing that India’s action is motivated by its need to protect its security near where the boundaries of China, India and Bhutan meet.
‘If China, unilaterally changes the status quo of the tri-junction point, it is a straight challenge to our security,’ said the Foreign Minister today.
Despite no signs of a climbdown, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will travel to China next week for a meeting of BRICS – the bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -said the government. It did not rule out the possibility of a bilateral meeting for him with top Chinese officials.
‘As long as it was between China and Bhutan, we had nothing to do with it,’ said Swaraj in parliament today of the competing claims over the land. ‘But since this deals with the tri-junction point, it affects our security position.’
Swaraj counters China’s claim
Swaraj said in parliament that ‘India has not said anything unreasonable’ and that ‘all countries are in India’s support.’ The government has been stressing that it is working diplomatic channels to defuse the tension; Beijing, on the other hand, has spoken harshly with warnings of ‘serious consequences’ and has said it will engage in no dialogue till India pulls back its soldiers – a stand it repeated today. ‘The withdrawal of the Indian border troops is the precondition for any meaningful dialogue and the communication between the two sides’ said a government spokesperson at a press conference in Beijing.
Swaraj’s assertion today on other countries agreeing with India’s stand counters China’s claim on Tuesday that foreign diplomats in Beijing said they were shocked by India’s action. Indian sources have confirmed that foreign embassies in Delhi have expressed concern about the simmering tension and have been reassured of Delhi’s commitment to finding a peaceful solution.