India-China border: Settlement between representatives should be 'scrupulously' respected, says MEA
India on Thursday asserted that it was important that understanding reached between the Sino-India special representatives (SRs) for the settlement of the boundary question was “scrupulously” respected by both sides and that each side projected the position of the other accurately. The remarks by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar came in response to a query on the Chinese foreign ministry’s reported statement that claimed that Sikkim section of the China-India border has been demarcated as per the 1890 UK-China treaty.
The Chinese claim was made on Sunday, a day after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made her maiden visit to the Nathu La post. “We have seen…the reports and the comments. Negotiations for the settlement of the India-China boundary question are held at the level of special representatives of the two countries, based on agreements and understandings reached between them from time to time,” Kumar said.
“The most recent common understanding between the special representatives was reached in 2012. It is important that these understandings are scrupulously respected by both sides and that each side projects the position of the other side accurately,” he asserted.
On reports that China has maintained a sizable presence of its troops near the Dokalam standoff site and even started widening of an existing road which is at a distance of around 12 km from the area of conflict, Kumar said there have been no new developments at the India-China military face-off site in Dokalam and its vicinity since the August 28 disengagement. “The status quo prevails in this area. Any suggestion to the contrary is incorrect,” he added.
Replying to a separate question on Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s visit to the Seychelles earlier this week, the spokesperson said it was a scheduled visit as he has direct oversight on relations with the island nation. “He met the President, the Vice President, the Leader of Opposition and members of the Cabinet. The focus was on bilateral development cooperation and maritime cooperation,” Kumar added.