What China has to say on being given face-saver on Doklam stand-off
(Representative image) The standoff began on June 16 after Chinese troops began constructing a road near the tri-junction with Bhutan, which India says was a unilateral action by Beijing to change the status quo in the area. Photograph: (Facebook)
China on Wednesday asked India to "learn lessons" from the stand-off in Doklam and prevent such incidents in future. It also blamed "Indian trespassing" for the border face-off between the two countries.
The countries ended their standoff in Dokalam by withdrawing their troops from the area.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was on Wednesday asked to respond to media reports that India withdrew its troops to provide a face saver to China after reaching a settlement.
Wang Yi said the 73-day stand-off between India and China in the strategic disputed region near Sikkim ended after India withdrew its troops.
"The border face off caused by Indian trespassing has been settled," he said, adding that as per the "authoritative information" with the Chinese government, Indian troops had withdrawn from the area on the afternoon of August 28, which "brought the faceoff to an end".
"That is a basic fact and of course, we hope that the Indian side will learn lessons from this incident and prevent similar things from happening again," he said.
Asked about the differences between the two countries, Wang said, "India and China are two big countries. It is natural that there are some problems in our interactions".
"What is important is that we put these differences at appropriate place and under the principle of mutual respect and following the consensus of our leaders, we need to handle and manage them properly," he said.
"In the meantime, with our engagement through different mechanisms we need to work out a solution in the long run".
The Chinese foreign minister was addressing a press conference in Beijing on the BRICS summit to be held in Xiamen city next week
He evaded a direct reply on whether there will be meeting between Modi and President Xi Jinping, saying instead that there will be bilateral meetings and interactions between the participating leaders which is natural practice.
The face-off in Dokalam was resolved days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to China for the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit next week.
India's External Affairs Ministry did not immediately comment on the Chinese foreign minister's remarks.
Troops of both countries had involved in a standoff in Dokalam since June 16 after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from constructing a road in the strategically important region, a disputed area between China and Bhutan.
The Indian Army had blocked the construction of the road as it could give China a major military advantage over India at the Bhutan-China-India tri-junction.
India yesterday announced that Modi will take part in the Xiamen summit.
"On the sidelines of the BRICS meeting, Xi will also have meetings with some leaders upon their request. Once relevant arrangements are decided we will let you know. The first thing is whether the leaders will have the willingness to meet. If there is willingness of the leaders participating in the meeting, as a host the Chinese side will try to make it possible if our schedule programme permits," he said.
About the discord between India and China, which are important members of the BRICS, he said "we hope through the efforts of both sides we will maintain healthy and stable momentum of growth for China India relations" in the interest of Chinese and Indian people as well as meeting the aspiration of international community and neighbouring countries.
Wang said there is huge potential and space for greater cooperation between China and India and such cooperation serves the interest of the two countries.
"We hope China and India will join hands and work together for rejuvenation of Asia and for the development of our region and contribute our share to greater development," he said.
The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit will be held in the southeast Chinese city of Xiamen from September 3 to 5.