Beijing, March 24: Any attempt by Chi to change the status quo along the Indian border may lead to another Doklam-like stand-off, India’s envoy Gautam Bambawale has said, adding that the best way to prevent such incidents is through candid and frank talks. In an interview to the Hong Kong-based South Chi Morning Post, Bambwale said the un-demarcated border between India and Chi is “the most serious problem between the two countries” and they need to redefine the boundary soon.
Chi's attempt to change status quo may lead to another Doklam'
Bambawale said New Delhi will oppose the Chi-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) but won’t let the difference over Belt and Road become a dispute with Beijing. He also downplayed the reports of India joining the bloc of the US, Japan and Australia to counter Chi. The two militaries were locked in a 73-day stand-off at Doklam in the eastern sector of their border last year. The issue was resolved in August, only after souring the bilateral ties. “In order to maintain the peace and tranquillity (along India-Chi 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. “The Chinese military changed the status quo in the Doklam area and therefore India reacted to it. Ours was a reaction to the change in the status quo by the Chinese military.
On India’s concerns about Chi’s Belt and Road project, Bambawale said if the initiative meets the norms of an intertiol 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. Unfortutely, 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 Chi’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. (IANS)