By Gaurav Sharma
Beijing, Aug 29 (IANS) China on Tuesday remained ambiguous on whether it has stopped its road building in Doklam, even as its army kept up the rhetoric on the issue asking India to “draw lessons” from the over 70-day standoff.
While India officially announced the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Xiamen in Fujian province for the September 3-5 9th BRICS Summit, Chinese Foreign Office spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “We hope that India will respect China’s sovereignty and rightful concerns and work towards a peaceful settlement.
“Hope that BRICS countries work towards peaceful resolution of issues and come to the event with a positive attitude,” she said.
A day after the agreement that ended the standoff between their armies, China maintained ambiguity on construction of a road in Doklam that triggered the face-off.
“In order to meet the needs of defending the borders and improving the living condition, China has long been engaged in infrastructure development, including the road constructions in Donlang (Doklam) area,” Hua said at a briefing here.
“We will take into consideration all relevant factors, including the weather, to make relevant construction plans in accordance with the situation on the ground,” she added when asked if China will continue with building the road in the area.
Meanwhile, keeping up the rhetoric, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said in a statement that the Chinese military will remain “vigilant and firmly defend its national territory and sovereignty”.
“Peace and stability along the China-India border concerns regional peace and stability and accords with the common interests of people on both sides of the border,” a statement quoting Wu Qian, a senior PLA colonel, said.
He asked India to draw “lessons” from the standoff. “We remind India to draw lessons from the standoff, abide by established treaties and the basic principles of international law, and work together with China to safeguard peace and stability along the border and promote the healthy development of the two militaries,” he said.
The construction of a Chinese road at Doka La in disputed Doklam plateau had triggered a military stand-off between the People’s Liberation Army and Indian soldiers in mid-June.
The Chinese road construction was being done at Doka La, which is close to Siliguri corridor that connects India’s northeast with the rest of the country.
Doklam area is also claimed by India’s ally Bhutan.
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