Beijing has cancelled an upcoming bilateral meeting of its President Xi Jinping with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid a stand-off between the troops of both countries near the trisection of China, India and Bhutan borders.
Chinese foreign ministry officials on Thursday said the ‘atmosphere’ was ‘not right’ for a bilateral meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, which begins on July 7, amid a standoff between the armies of the two countries in Sikkim, the northwestern Indian state.
Beijing and New Delhi have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for the past three weeks.
Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region, according to the Press Trust of India. There were reports that Xi and Modi may meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit to resolve the standoff.
Meanwhile, China said on Thursday it was absurd for India to use the excuse of Chinese road-building to cross over their border, and accused India of militarising its side of the frontier.
According to the Chinese interpretation of events, Indian guards crossed into China’s Donglang region early in June and obstructed work on a road on the plateau. Troops from the two sides then confronted each other close to a valley controlled by China that separates India from Bhutan – a close Indian ally – and gives China access to the so-called Chicken’s Neck, a thin strip of land that connects India to its remote northeastern regions.
India has said it had warned China that construction of the road near their common border would have serious security implications. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, speaking at a daily news briefing, again urged India to withdraw its personnel to the Indian side “to avoid there being an even more serious situation creating even more serious consequences”.—Agencies