China Stand-off in Sikkim Ends, Both Countries to Withdraw Troops from Doklam

Indian soldier stands guard at the ancient Nathu La border crossing between India and China

The standoff at Doklam is expected to come to an end, as both India and China have agreed to withdraw their respective troops from the region.

The somewhat confusing conclusion of the dispute is probably an attempt to give both India and China the ability to sell the agreement to their respective domestic audiences, said Professor Harsh Pant, who specialises in global relations at King's College in London. The latest standoff began in mid-June after Chinese troops started building a road on Doklam plateau. India said soldiers of both countries were withdrawing their troops.

"Chinese forces will continue to patrol in Doklam region", it further adds to its statement.

While Beijing reiterated on the unilateral pulling out of India's soldiers, New Delhi maintained that both sides withdraw troops to engage in dialogue. This plateau is a junction between China and the north-eastern Indian state of Sikkim and the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan which is known as Doklam in India and Donglang in China. PM Modi will be visiting China to attend a summit of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group of nations in September 2017.

The dispute flared in June after Indian troops were alleged to have crossed a border to stop a Chinese road building crew from working in an area that India, Bhutan and China had agreed was still under negotiation. "During these communications, we were able to express our views and convey our concerns and interests", the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

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A day after India and China made a decision to end military stand-off over Doklam, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Xiamen for BRICS summit. Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to arrive in China on Sunday and likely to meet with Xi the following day on the sidelines of the summit.

In China, spokesperson Hua said, "China hopes India respects the historical boundary and works with China to protect peace along the border on the basis of mutual respect of each other's sovereignty".

Hua remained silent on China's plans to build a road, which sparked the standoff, and said it would "make adjustments" with the situation on the ground.

New Delhi was concerned that China blocking this corridor would have isolated parts of India from the rest of the country.

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