The much-anticipated visit of India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to Beijing for NSA levels talks with BRICS nations, especially China has come to an end. During his trip, Doval met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and called upon President Xi Jinping.
Even though no official communication has yet confirmed that the two sides discussed the contentious ‘Sikkim standoff’, the visit can be considered vitally successful as it has forged a normal dialogue between neighbours during border dispute.
China, on Thursday, acknowledged that Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang met on the sidelines of the BRICS NSAs meet during which they discussed “major problems” in bilateral ties. However, China made no mention of the Doklam standoff.
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But it is likely that positive strides were made in the direction of conflict resolution. “There was some recognition in the bilateral conversation about the need for more engagement before the BRICS summit in Xiamen early September, and there are likely to be some high-level official visits next month as part of efforts to defuse the situation,” a top source told The Indian Express, without going into details of the meeting between Doval and Yang.
The report in English daily also hints at the possibility of visits by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and senior officials, including Joint Secretary (East Asia) Pranay Verma, to engage with Chinese interlocutors.
The Indian side has confirmed to Chinese interlocutors that Modi is likely to visit Xiamen, on the south-east coast of China and across the strait from Taiwan, for the summit planned from September 3 to 5.
Since the standoff began on June 16, China has been maintaining that there will not be a meaningful dialogue without the unconditional withdrawal of Indian troops.