Doklam stand-off: After China's veiled threat, India says coordinating with Bhutan
Indian and Chinese troops are involved in a stand-off in Doklam since June this year. Photograph: (Zee News Network)
Even as China warned India that its "restraint has a bottom line", India said today (August 4) that it continues to engage with China diplomatically and has been coordinating with Bhutan to find a mutually-acceptable solution to the stand-off in Doklam.
"We continue to engage with China through diplomatic channels to find a mutually acceptable solution," external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.
He also said that India has been in continuous coordination and consultation with Bhutan on the Dokalam issue.
Asked whether China's claim that India had reduced its troops from 400 to 40 in the disputed area, Gopal Baglay said it was an operational matter and refused to give a direct reply.
The external affairs ministry spokesperson said India's objective was to achieve peace and tranquillity and it would use diplomacy to achieve its aim.
In a statement late last night, China warned India that it had shown "utmost goodwill" over the prolonged military standoff with India in Doklam, and said its "restraint has its bottom line".
"Since the incident occurred, China has shown utmost goodwill and sought to communicate with India through diplomatic channels to resolve the incident. Chinese armed forces have also shown a high level of restraint with an eye to the general bilateral relations and the regional peace and stability," Ren Guoqiang, a spokesperson for the Chinese defence ministry said in a statement.
"However, goodwill has its principles and restraint has its bottom line," state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said last month that India's position on the over-a-month-long standoff in the Doklam was that both sides should first pull back their troops for any talks to take place.
The stand-off in Doklam began on June 16 after Chinese troops began constructing a road near the tri-junction with Bhutan. India opposed the move a unilateral action by Beijing to change the status quo in the area which Bhutan claims as its own.