NEW DELHI: Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj discussed the Doklam episode with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during their bilateral meeting and reiterated that peace and tranquility in the border areas were essential pre-requisites for smooth relations.
Confirming that the issue of Doklam was raised during the meeting between Ms Swaraj and Wang Yi on Monday, foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the Indian leader underlined the need for approaching the bilateral difference with due consideration to each other’s sensitivities and concerns.
“The external affairs minister and the Chinese foreign minister both noted the challenge it had posed to the relationship and both expressed satisfaction that it was resolved with the disengagement of troops at the face-off site through concerted diplomatic communications,” Mr Kumar said.
He also said Wang Yi conveyed that the peaceful resolution of the Doklam issue reflects the political maturity on both sides.
“While agreeing with this, the external affairs minister reiterated that the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas is an essential pre-requisite for the smooth development of bilateral relations,” he added.
Raveesh Kumar’s remarks came in response to a question regarding media articles on Mr Wang’s comments.
According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Wang Yi told Ms Swaraj that “although the standoff ended eventually through diplomatic means more than two months later, lessons must be learned and efforts must be made to avoid such an incident in the future. The standoff put the bilateral relations under severe pressure.”
Raveesh Kumar said during the bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Russia-India-China (RIC), Wang Yi also said that India and China share the same objectives of national development and should be natural partners.
“To this end, both foreign ministers agreed to strengthen strategic communication at all levels, including between them, through the established dialogue mechanisms,” the spokesperson added.
Chinese and Indian troops were locked in a 73-day border standoff from June 16 when Indian soldiers stopped Chinese personnel from building a key road close to India’s ‘chicken’s neck’ corridor.
On August 28, India announced the “disengagement” between the soldiers of the two countries.
The road was being built by China in an area also claimed by Bhutan.