Meaningful talks, de-escalation of situation need of the hour: Former Indian envoy to China

New Delhi [India], July 21: Former Indian ambassador to China Ashok K. Kantha on Friday stressed upon the dire need of initiating meaningful dialogue between New Delhi and Beijing to combat differences between the two nations.

Kantha told ANI, that apart from dialogue, de-escalation of the incumbent situation is the need of the hour while adding that heated rhetoric from Beijing should also be avoided.

“What needs to be done is fast de-escalation of the situation. China should avoid heated rhetoric which has been emanating from Beijing both in terms of official announcements and what is coming out in official media that is not helpful at all, it’s also very important that any kind of escalation on the ground should be avoided, that’s fast requisite,” said Kantha.

“Second requirement is to enter into meaningful dialogue to resolve this issue this involves China trying to change the status quo which has implications not only for Bhutan but also for India. Clearly there are differences between India and China, and between Bhutan and China on the location of the tri-junction point involving three countries and these differences can only be resolved through dialogue,” he added.

Kantha highlighted that Bhutan has expressed the hope that China will restore status quo as before 16th March 2017.

“We hope that China will pay heed to this very sensible advice coming from tempo rather than demanding that India withdraw personnel before they even start talking to India I think that’s a very unreasonable position to take,” he said.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) yesterday reiterated that differences between India and China should not be allowed to become disputes and added that communication the two governments have never ceased, nor have been broken.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed Member of Parliament that all countries, including Bhutan, are with India on the Dokhlam plateau stand-off.

Sushma said if Beijing unilaterally tries to change the status quo at the tri-junction, then it will pose a threat to New Delhi’s security.

“India wants that troops are removed from the tri-junction point to discuss the issue together. All countries, including Bhutan, are with us,” Sushma said in the Rajya Sabha.

India and China have been witness to the standoff for long over the tri-junction area of Doklam sector near Bhutan.

The stand-off emerged after the China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) construction party attempted to build a road near the Doklam area.

Bhutan recognises Doklam as its area while China claims it as part of its Donglang region. Doka La is the Indian name for the region. (ANI)

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