“No change” has taken place at the Doklam standoff area after it was resolved last year, India’s envoy Gautam Bambawale said and blamed China squarely for the face off, saying it happened because Beijing tried to alter the “status quo” which it should not have.
The 73-day long standoff ended on August 28 last year after China agreed to halt the road building activities at Doklam in Sikkim Section.
“No, I can tell you that in Doklam area, which we call close proximity or sometimes the face off site, the area where there was close confrontation or close proximity between Indian and Chinese military troops, there is no change taking place today,” India’s Ambassador to China Bambawale said, reacting to reports of Chinese military stepping up infrastructure build-up in the area.
“In order to maintain the peace and tranquillity (along India-China border), there are certain areas, certain sectors which are very sensitive, where we must not change the status quo. If anyone changes the status quo, it will lead to a situation like what happened in Doklam,” Bambawale said in the interview published on Saturday.
On India’s concerns about China’s Belt and Road project, Bambawale said if the initiative meets the norms of an international programme then New Delhi has no problem.
“One of the norms is that the project should not violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a country. Unfortunately, there is this thing called the CPEC which violates India’s sovereignty and territory integrity. Therefore, we oppose it.”
The CPEC is the flagship project of China’s Belt and Road project, a network of roads, ports and sea lanes that aims to connect Asia, Africa and Europe. India opposes it as it cuts through Kashmir held by Pakistan, but claimed by it.