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Ready for talks to reopen Nathu La pass, says China after Doklam stand-off resolved

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 11:53
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Beijing, September 12: Days after the peaceful resolution of the Doklam stand-off with India, China on Tuesday said that it is ready for talks to re-open the Nath La pass for Indian pilgrims.

China had closed the Nathu La pass in mid June over the military stand-off on Doklam.

"China is ready to keep communication with Indian side in regard to opening of the pass and other issues concerning the pilgrimage by Indians," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said here. 

While the over two-month standoff was resolved last month, the pass through which many Indian pilgrims go to Kailash Mansarovar in China's Tibet remained shut.

After nearly 72 days, India and China decided to withdraw troops from the Sikkim border, signalling a peaceful resolution of the Doklam stand-off. 

The breakthrough between the two nations was achieved through diplomatic talks. Raveesh Kumar, the official spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs, had claimed that both countries had decided to 'disengage' troops. 

 "In recent weeks, India and China maintained diplomatic communication in respect of incident at Doklam. During these communications, we were able to express our views and convey our concerns and interests," the official MEA statement said.

China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying also confirmed that Indian troops and equipment had pulled back while "Chinese troops continue to patrol on the Chinese side of the boundary", according to AFP.

The decision to disengage their troops was taken ahead of the crucial BRICS Summit that was held in China's Xiamen early September, which the Prime Minister attended.

In June 2017, Indian troops stopped China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) from constructing a road on the Doklam plateau, which ís a part of Bhutan. 

India said that constructing a road on the plateau will pose serious security concerns as it gives China access to the "Chicken's Neck" - a narrow strip of land that links India to the seven Northeast states. (Agencies)


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