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Doklam dispute resolved through ‘diplomatic maturity’, says Sushma Swaraj

The External Affairs Minister said the Wuhan informal summit was held without any agenda and without having any objective to discuss any specific issue.

india Updated: Aug 01, 2018 22:56 IST
HT Correspondent
Sushma Swaraj,Wuhan summit,Narendra Modi
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Swaraj told the Lok Sabha that the main objective of the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping (rpt Jinping) at Wuhan was to ensure mutual comfort, understanding and trust between the two leaders.(PTI file photo)

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said the India-China face-off over Doklam was resolved “without losing any ground”, and insisted that the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping at Wuhan was to ensure mutual comfort between the two leaders.

“We have resolved the Doklam issue with diplomatic maturity without losing any ground. There is no change in the status quo. There is not an iota of change. The face off at the site has been resolved on August 28, 2017,” she informed the Lok Sabha during question hour.

With the Prime Minister present in the House, Swaraj said the Wuhan informal summit was held without any agenda and the three main objectives of ensuring “mutual comfort, mutual understanding and mutual trust” between the two leaders had been achieved.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had repeatedly called Modi’s Wuhan two-day trip from on April 27 as “no agenda visit” and accused the Prime Minister of not raising the Doklam issue with the Chinese president.

Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam area last year.

Swaraj said in a meeting before the Wuhan summit, the foreign ministers of the two countries had decided that the leaders should not be restricted to any specific issue.

“The decision to host Wuhan was taken not to resolve any issue but to create a conducive environment.”

She informed the Lok Sabha that as a follow up to the Wuhan summit, the Chinese defence minister is coming to enhance military cooperation, while the foreign minister will arrive later this year as part of efforts to enhance people-to-people contact.

Swaraj said the Wuhan summit was an innovative format for leadership-level diplomatic engagement as it enabled the two leaders to hold direct, free and candid exchange of views on issues of overarching, long-term and strategic significance, without the constrains of protocol and a preset agenda.

Jinping has accepted the Prime Minister’s invitation to visit India for the second informal summit at a mutually convenient time in 2019, Swaraj said.

Replying to a question regarding the South-China sea dispute, she said, “Our stand on South China sea is clear. There should be freedom of navigation and all international laws should be adhered to,” she said.

Responding to Swaraj’s statement, Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala claimed that she had been “conspicuously silent” on the Chinese military buildup and new road construction in the South Doklam region

First Published: Aug 01, 2018 14:53 IST