China on Wednesday reiterated that no meaningful dialogue can be held with India until it “unconditionally” withdraws troops from the disputed Doklam area and said Foreign Minister Wang Yi has authoritatively made Beijing’s position clear on the issue.
Wang, who is the first top Chinese leader to have commented so far on the Doklam impasse, on Tuesday claimed that India “admitted” to entering Chinese territory. He said that India should “conscientiously withdraw” its troops from the area.
“The remarks of Foreign Minister Wang Yi are authoritative and has made our position clear. I don’t have anything to explain,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing.
Lu, however, declined to react to reports that both sides have deployed over 3,000 troops each at Doklam, saying that the question should be referred to the Chinese defence ministry.
He once again said China will not hold any meaningful dialogue without Indian troops’ withdrawal.
“I have stressed many times that the crux of this incident is that the Indian border troops illegally trespassed into China’s territory and the solution as Wang put it is for Indian border troops to pull-out unconditionally. This is a precondition basis for any meaningful talks between the two countries,” Lu said.
The Doklam issue is expected to be discussed during the visit of Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval to Beijing for a meeting of the NSAs of BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - on July 27-28.
Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a face-off in Doklam area in the southernmost part of Tibet in an area also claimed by Indian ally Bhutan for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area.
China claimed it was constructing the road within its territory, and has been demanding immediate pull-out of the Indian troops.
But External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told Parliament last Thursday that both sides should first pull back their troops for any talks to take place, favouring a peaceful resolution of the border standoff.
Photograph: Bobby Yip/Reuters