China face-off at Doklam resolved, no change in status quo: MEA

China angered after Indian general's says attention should be focused on northern border

India's military not as strong as officers claim: Hu Zhiyong

Reacting to media reports questioning the veracity of the Modi government's line on the Doklam situation, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued a statement asserting the state quo at the disputed region has not altered.

Meanwhile the Government on Thursday denied any change in the status quo agreed by India and China in Doklam after a prolonged face-off resolved a year ago through diplomatic discussions.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat also said that neither India nor China was looking at violating the peace attained in Doklam after the disengagement between the two sides in late-August.

The India-China "bonhomie" before the Doklam standoff has returned, Army chief Bipin Rawat said, but added that one should be "prepared for anything".

He said government's attention to media report has been drawn on the situation in Doklam and maintained that even earlier "the government had stated that there was no basis" for suggesting anything in contrary.

Gen Rawat said that Chinese soldiers were not in the same numbers in the Doklam area as they were at the time of last year's military stand-off.

India's objection to the road was Doklam's proximity to its highway that connects its northeast with rest of the country. "They have carried out some infrastructure development which is mostly temporary in nature", General Rawat said in response to a question at the Raisina Dialogue.

He said road construction had been on in Doklam since 2000, but the Chinese soldiers had come close to Tosa Nala - which divides north and south Doklam - with a large number of manpower and equipment in June previous year, just before the India-China standoff started.

These statements have further aggravated the leaders of India and China and dealt a blow to the bilateral relations between the two countries while impacting peace and safety of the border region.

Bhutanese troops stationed there objected to the construction but were brushed off by the Chinese troops who had brought in earth-moving equipment for road construction.

The Doklam Plateau went from a remote, virtually-uninhabited mountain range along the disputed border of China and Bhutan to one of the most important geopolitical sites in the world overnight, when on June 16 PLA soldiers and construction workers arrived to build a road through the plateau.

Surjewala said the Congress party would always press for disengagement of conflict in Doklam between India-China-Bhutan through "diplomatic means" in a manner that protects India's strategic interests in toto and avoid unwarranted provocation of conflict.

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