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Is there assurance that China will not try building road again in Doklam, asks Congress

China on Tuesday remained ambiguous on whether it has stopped its road building in Doklam, which triggered the over 70-day standoff between border troops of India and China that ended on Monday.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2017 00:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Doklam,India-China,Congress
A Chinese soldier gestures next to an Indian soldier at the Nathu La border crossing between India and China in Sikkim. India said its troops were disengaging from a standoff with the Chinese military at Doklam.(AFP)

As the BJP rejoiced the end of the Doklam standoff and hailed the Narendra Modi government’s diplomacy, a cautious Congress posed several questions for the ruling establishment.

The principal opposition party has sought to know if there was any explicit or implicit assurance that the Chinese side will not resume the construction of roads in that area — the flashpoint of confrontation between the two neighbours.

“The statements of both India and China don’t say anything on this. We wish to know if there is any assurance,” asked party leader Manish Tewari.

Tewari also pointed out that the Indian statement speaks about “expeditious disengagement” and said from the two statements, it did not look like it will be mutual.

“If we are giving them any face-saver, the Chinese side at least hasn’t given us any. They have indicated they will do verification,” he said.

Another Congress leader, former diplomat Shashi Tharoor, also wondered if there was any undertaking that Beijing will not try to rebuild the road.

Tewari underlined that as the situation was volatile in the Korean peninsula, China probably did not want to escalate tension on another front.

“This, in other words, would mean that China will pick and choose the areas where they want to engage. Chances remain that in future, they may again resume building roads.”

“It would be premature to declare it as a diplomatic success and it is not clear who blinked first — China or India,” Tewari added.

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 00:19 IST