Beijing rebuffs Jaishankar’s bid on Doklam row, offers to mediate on Kashmir instead

INDIA-CHINA-POLITICS-DIPLOMACY

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Situation entirely different this time: China on Doklam standoff
  • China citing 1890 Sikkim-Tibet treaty to justody its position on the border
  • China says Kashmir situation has drawn international focus, offers to mediate

BEIJING: A day after foreign secretary S Jaishankar made a peace overture saying India and China could resolve their differences over Doklam as they had handled similar incidents in the past, Beijing rebuffed the move saying the situation was “entirely different” this time.

“This is different from the frictions that happened in the undefined sections of the border region,” said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Wednesday.

While Jaishankar had said differences over the Sikkim trijunction should not be allowed to become disputes, Chinese foreign ministry said China has pointed out many times that the Indian border troops “illegally trespassed” a mutually agreed border line in the region.

Trying to provoke India further, the Chinese ministry also offered to mediate in Kashmir, saying the situation there has drawn international focus. Saying it was ready to play a constructive role, the ministry said the conflict along the line of control (LoC) was not conducive to the South Asia region.

“The situation in Kashmir has attracted a lot of global attention,” Geng said during his regular briefing. He added, “We hope relevant sides can do more things that are conducive to peace and stability in the region and avoid escalating tensions.”

The offer to mediate would be sneezed at in New Delhi because China has so far been unable to resolve its dispute with India, leave aside playing a referee between its all-weather friend, Pakistan, and India, said an observer. Besides, he added, China has already shown itself to be partisan by building a road inside Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, which is claimed by India.

Foreign secretary Jaishankar had said at an event in Singapore, “It’s not the first time that it (Sino-Indian border dispute) has happened. How do you handle it is a test of our maturity. I see no reason, having handled so many situations in the past, that we will not handle this.” Jaishankar also said that the two countries “must not allow differences to become disputes”.

 Geng elaborated, “China has pointed out many times that the illegal trespass into China’s territory across a mutually recognised borderline is different in nature to frictions that happened in undefined sections of the boundary. This is totally different from the undefined boundary in eastern, middle and western sectors.”

He reiterated the 1890 Sikkim-Tibet treaty that China says confirmed the border, although India has stressed that the convention was only “the basis of alignment” and that the boundary had not been delineated or demarcated.

Source: Times Of India

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