ASIA – India, China resolve border crisis

HIMALAYAS – India and China have agreed to deescalate a months-long territorial standoff in the Himalayas, ahead of a major economic summit involving both countries.

In a statement Monday, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the “expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is ongoing.”

China’s official Xinhua news agency said India had withdrawn its personnel and equipment “that had crossed the border back to the Indian side.”

“Chinese personnel verified this at the scene,” Xinhua reported. “China will continue to exercise its sovereign rights and preserve its territorial sovereignty in accordance with historical border agreements.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet at the BRICS summit — alongside leaders from Brazil, Russia and South Africa — in the southern Chinese city of Xiamen later this week.

The standoff between India and China, the two largest BRICS economies, comes as Beijing seeks to expand the five nation grouping to include other emerging nations, many of which are seen as sympathetic to China’s interests, according to Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of the Observer Research Foundation Mumbai.

China has invited the leaders of Thailand, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Egypt and several other nations to the Xiamen conference.

But the quick deescalation of the situation ahead of the summit shows that Modi has withstood Chinese pressure and forced Beijing to back down, said Manoj Joshi, a fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in Delhi.

The summit will provide a good opportunity to solve the two sides’ differences, he said, “provided the two sides understand that the time for posturing is over and diplomacy should be allowed to work.” 

Source: (CNN)

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