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Defuse border tensions through direct dialogue: Pentagon tells India, China

Sikkim standoff: Pak game plan in focus as envoy meets Chinese ambassador to India

From Ms Swaraj's statement it is evident that if the Chinese Army is permitted to pursue its road-building project there would be no "tri-junction" left.

On the face of it, both sides maintain that they are engaged with each other and the top priority is to resolve the standoff through negotiations.

The Chinese foreign ministry has not reacted to Swaraj's comments.

India claims that Chinese control over the contested Doklam would position it, in the event of war, to seize the Siliguri corridor-a narrow slice of Indian territory, squeezed between Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, that links West Bengal and the rest of India with its seven northeastern states.

Keenly aware of Washington's plans to use India to thwart China's rise, Beijing long sought closer relations with New Delhi and responded relatively benignly to actions by India it deemed hostile or provocative.

Sources said that Indian ambassador in Beijing, Vijay Gokhale, had been in regular touch with the Chinese leadership to try and probe if the situation could be brought under control by cutting down on rhetoric and finding a diplomatic solution. It added, "If New Delhi does not withdraw its troops, the last option for China is fighting against India and ending the conflict without diplomatic means".

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Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang, who participated in the talks, spoke about the importance of cooperation between the two countries in general terms but had nothing specific to report in terms of outcomes. "The withdrawal of Indian troops must be a precondition for talks and China will not compromise on this stance", it said.

Washington has remained nearly totally mum about the standoff between India and China. During his visit, Doval is expected to talk with his Chinese counterpart on this issue.

The most interesting photograph one saw recently was of a smiling PM Modi shaking hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Germany. There was no outward sign of any discomfort over the standoff at Doko-La.

While the meeting that was held on Wednesday has been confirmed there is no clarity on what transpired between the two. Though most agree that no one wants a conflict, the possibility of such an outcome can not be totally ruled out.

China has claimed that it was making a road on its own territory and therefore, the presence of Indian troops in Doklam was a violation of the 1890 Anglo-China agreement on boundary of Sikkim and Tibet. They also say that the border stand-off is likely to continue until November. "The Iranians would like to see it as an economic project and they would like India and Iran to co-exist", the former National Security Adviser said. China also has a long-range strike capability.

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