US diplomats active in Beijing, New Delhi

Amidst India’s bilateral approach in its territorial disputes with its neighbors, US administration has established contact with New Delhi and Beijing over the last three weeks on the border standoff at Doklam and urged for “peaceful resolution through dialogue.”

It was revealed by a newspaper on Sunday. It quoted sources privy to the exchanges between the three capitals and reported that US Embassy in Beijing became active immediately after India’s first public statement on June 30 and asked for a meeting with Chinese government. The US diplomats met China’s foreign ministry officials on July 6, while Beijing separately briefed the diplomats from UN Security Council’s five Permanent members; US, Russia, Britain, France and China, at their request.

However, Washington has not termed the US diplomatic efforts as “mediation.”

These meetings held at a time when PM Narendra Modi was visiting Israel and Chinese President Xi Jinping was in Hamburg, Germany for attending G-20 summit. Modi also attended the summit.

During these meetings, the Chinese officials conveyed to the US and other diplomats that troops of PLA will not indefinitely wait for India’s withdrawal from Doklam plateau. China claimed that the land at India-Bhutan-China tri-junction, which they call Donglong, belongs to them. Diplomats of these countries communicated China’s stand to Indian diplomats based in Beijing.

US acting Ambassador to India Mary Kay Loss Carlson and another Washington based official have also advocated for dialogue and peaceful resolution to India, the sources have claimed.

Similar message was reportedly conveyed to Beijing by the US. On Saturday, US Defense Department’s spokesman Gary Ross told PTI “We encourage India and China to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions and free of any coercive aspects.”

On Friday, US State Department spokesperson heather Nauert, told, “(And) they’re going to talk to one another.”  While referring to Doval’s forthcoming Beijing visit she said, “We would encourage them to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions.”

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is scheduled to visit Beijing to attend G-20 NSA’s meeting on July 27 and 28.

On June 26 Beijing, in its official statement, had alleged that Indian troops crossed the boundary line in the Sikkim sector of the Sino-India boundary and entered Chinese territory.

On June 30, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said that in keeping with the tradition of maintaining close consultation on matters of mutual interests Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) and Government of India have been in continuous contact through the unfolding developments.

New Delhi had also expressed deep concern at the Chinese actions and has conveyed to the Chinese government that such road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India.