New Delhi (ABC Live); Doklam : The 71-day military standoff at Doklam, on the tri-junction of the Indian, Chinese and Bhutanese borders, has been defused without armed confrontation and bloodshed.
China and India have reached an agreement to withdraw troops from Doklam in the Himalayas, which had become a potential flashpoint between the two giant Asian powers.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday that on August 28 the Indian side had withdrawn all the personnel and equipment that had crossed the border, and this had been verified by Chinese officials.
India’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying: “Expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is ongoing.”
The breakthrough came ahead of the BRICS summit, due to be held in China’s Xiamen on Sunday between Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa and China. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not yet been confirmed to attend, amid the tensions over Doklam.
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said China will “continue to exercise its sovereignty right consistent with the historical border agreement”.
The dispute flared in June after Indian troops were alleged to have crossed a border to stop a Chinese road building crew from working in an area that India, Bhutan and China had agreed was still under negotiation.
At one point, India had amassed 400 troops at the border area, although this was pulled back to 40 troops by the start of August.
In a large information booklet released stating its version of the dispute earlier this month, China had claimed it had given advance notification about the road crew.
India has never objected to China patrolling the Doklam bowl, which is disputed between China and Bhutan. A Chinese road, however, is regarded as an unacceptable change in the status quo, which is expressly forbidden by a 2012 agreement between Beijing and New Delhi.