NEW DELHI: India said on Thursday that it would continue to use diplomatic channels with China to resolve Dokalam standoff and insisted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held “conversation on a range of issues” in Hamburg.
Also, union home minister Rajnath Singh and External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj will hold an all-party meet on Friday to brief Opposition leaders on the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the ongoing stand-off with China in Sikkim. Singh and Swaraj will brief the leaders on the security scenario along the two frontiers and the counter measures taken by the Centre, official sources said.
There is a standoff between the armies of India and China in the Dokalam area in the Sikkim sector, where Indian troops stopped road construction by Chinese soldiers on June 16.
“We have diplomatic channels available. We have embassies in both countries. Those channels will continue to be used,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said when asked about the nearly month-long standoff in Dokalam.
“I would only refer you back to the information we put out after the meeting (in Hamburg). There was a picture that we had tweeted.There was a brief text that said at the BRICS leaders’ informal meeting at Hamburg on the sidelines of the G0-20 summit, an informal meeting was hosted by China. Prime Minister Modi and President Xi had a conversation on a range of issues,” Baglay said when asked about the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman’s remarks that there was no bilateral meeting between the two leaders.
However, he refused to give details on the “range of issues”, saying, “It is not for me to comment as to what grounds the two leaders covered.”
On strong rhetorics in Chinese media warning India on the Dokalam standoff, Baglay said, “This matter we are dealing with is a serious matter and it has implications. We remain engaged in addressing this matter.”
The standoff between the two countries had invited criticism from the Opposition with parties questioning the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.
Hence, a meeting to brief opposition parties on the issue has been arranged. The briefing that is coming ahead of Parliament is expected to keep the leaders posted on the issues as the leaders are expected to raise them during the proceedings of the Houses.
The Opposition leaders have also been critical of the Government’s handling of Jammu and Kashmir where terrorists targeted Amarnath pilgrims and killed seven and injured 19 others. The sources said the briefing will be given at 5 pm at the official residence of Rajnath Singh.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had on Wednesday questioned Modi’s “silence” on China.
(With PTI inputs)