Ajit Doval to visit China next week for meeting of BRICS NSAs

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2018 Published on July 20, 2017

Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor   -  Kamal Narang

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is expected to visit China on July 27-28 even as the military stand-off between Indian and Chinese forces in the Doklam region, close to the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction, continues to remain tense.

Doval’s visit comes less than a month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Hamburg during the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) informal meet on July 7.

The NSA is scheduled to visit China to attend the BRICS NSA meeting, during which he will be meeting his counterpart and Chinese state councillor Yang Jiechi.

However, while the NSA’s main aim will be to put an end to the tense situation that began on June 16, in all likelihood the face-off between the two is likely to continue until the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is held, which is expected to see some key leadership changes in Beijing, sources told BusinessLine.

The 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is scheduled to be held in September-October as President Xi looks forward to a second five-year term.

‘Willing to talk’

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha that India was willing to talk and that will happen only when both sides withdraw their troops. Both Doval and Yang are also Special Representatives (SR) of their respective countries on boundary matters.

“If China, unilaterally changes the status quo of the tri-junction point, it is a straight challenge to our security,” she said.

She also referred to the the 2012 understanding between India, China and Bhutan on the tri-junction boundaries and said China was attempting to change the status quo unilaterally.

Clarifying India’s stance, the External Affairs Minister said India was not being “unreasonable” , adding that China was building roads in the region using bulldozers and excavators, and this was being opposed by Bhutan.

Swaraj said all countries were supporting India’s stance.

Peaceful resolution

According to Gopal Baglay, MEA Spokesperson, India’s main aim is peaceful resolution of all matters related to the border issue.

“Diplomatic channels are available and that has never stopped. That’s where the matter is. Let diplomacy do the job,” he said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday had issued a warning to India to withdraw its troops from the Doklam border to “avoid further escalation of the situation.”

“The stand-off is most likely to continue till the BRICS Summit is over. Before that several high-level visits will take place and eventually it will be settled. China is looking for a face saver and India can offer that without even appearing to be compromising,” said Swaran Singh, Professor (Diplomacy & Disarmament), Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Published on July 20, 2017
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