India withdraws troops from Doklam; China still silent on road construction

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The Ministry of External Affairs of India said in a statement on Monday that both the countries had communicated with each other regarding the Doklam issue in the last few weeks.

The two countries have agreed to a speedy disengagement on the Doklam plateau in Bhutan, ending a military standoff lasting more than two months.

The MEA statement did not explicitly say if Chinese and Indian troops have withdrawn from the area but China claimed in a statement yesterday that Indian troops have pulled back.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Beijing would continue to patrol the region.

Although China didn't explain what the changes would be, their Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, "At 1430 or so on August 28, India withdrew its personnel and equipment to the Indian side of the border line".

India and its neighbouring country China have agreed to disengage a prolonged standoff at the Sikkim border that began earlier in June 2017, said the government on Monday. Since India's support to Bhutan's claim of the plateau, there was a faceoff between China and India.

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"The Chinese side will continue to exercise its sovereignty and uphold its territorial integrity in accordance with historical conventions", she added. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to attend the summit.

Can China-India row be the catalyst for a dispute resolution system among top emerging nations? The dispute began in mid-June when China began building a road in the area where China, India and Bhutan meet.

India wanted the status quo to be restored for the withdrawal of its troops.

The official, on the condition of anonymity, said there were about 1700-1800 Chinese troops in the area where they proposed to build a road and all of them have left. "The current road construction in that area by the Indian side is not conducive to peace and stability in that area". India ignored repeated baiting and aggressive rhetoric by China to insist it would seek diplomatic channels to resolve the tension.

India's serious security concern over the road stems from the access it opens up to the narrow strip of land called the "Chicken's Neck" that links mainland India to its north eastern states.

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