Defence

Defence Minister to visit China next month

Defence Minsiter Nirmala Sitharaman confirmed that she will be visiting China soon, months after a prolonged period of tension where troops from the two nuclear-capable nations were involved in a standoff near the border in Doklam at the trijunction of India, China and Bhutan.
Mar 13, 2018
Defence Minsiter Nirmala Sitharaman confirmed that she will be visiting China soon, months after a prolonged period of tension where troops from the two nuclear-capable nations were involved in a standoff near the border in Doklam at the trijunction of India, China and Bhutan.
 
"Yes, it's going to be probably in late April," Sitharaman said in response to questions from media persons. The Indian Defence Ministry had last week denied that the minister was going to visit China.
 
China tried to build a road in a territory claimed by Bhutan in June last year, and was stopped by India, resulting in a 73-day standoff at the Sino-Indian border in Sikkim sector.
The standoff started on June 16 and both sides announced disengagement on August 28.
 
The standoff had led to tension between the two nuclear-armed nations, and during a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in December, India had stressed that peace along the India-China border is a pre-requisite for strong bilateral relations.
 
Wang had also admitted that the standoff had put a "severe" strain on bilateral ties.
 
In December, Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councillor and Member of Central Committee of Politburo of the Communist Party of China Yang Jiechi held the 20th Meeting of Special Representatives of India and China on border issues. The two sides later called the talks "positive and focused" and also agreed to seek "mutually acceptable resolutions of their differences with due respect for each other's sensitivities, concerns and aspirations".

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