India not in WAR mode, says will TALK with China to solve Sikkim standoff

New Delhi: Diplomatic channels are trying their levelbest to find resolution; India's approach has been that differences should not become disputes.

A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs says that the diplomatic channels are open to resolve the India-China standoff on the Doklam issue. "Diplomatic channels trying to find resolution; India's approach has been that differences should not become disputes," it said.

Diplomatic channels and diplomatic communications have never been ceased, they have never broken," said MEA Spokesperson Gopal Baglay. " I can confirm that he (National Security Advisor) will be visiting," said MEA on National Security Advisor's visit to China for BRICS NSAs meeting.

"In such sensitive matters who has made offer and who reacted or not, it's best left to diplomats to conduct what they are good at," siad Gopal Baglay.

Earlier in the day China reiterated that it won't talk to India until New Delhi withdraws troops from Doklam where both armies have been locked in a stand-off for more than a month. India on Thursday accused China of unilaterally trying to change the status quo on the border with Bhutan and said this is what has sparked off the stand-off between the Indian and Chinese armies.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha that while China was saying that India should withdraw its troops from Doklam for negotiations to begin, "we are saying that if a dialogue is to be held, then both should withdraw (their troops)".

The Chinese action "is a challenge to our security", the Minister said in the first exhaustive Indian comment on the border row that began over a month ago in the Sikkim sector of the winding Sino-Indian frontier. 

Sushma Swaraj said India was not doing anything unreasonable.

"Foreign countries are with us. They feel that China is being aggressive with a small country like Bhutan. Bhutan has protested, including in writing. All the countries feel India's stand is right and the law is with us."

China has repeatedly said the withdrawal of troops from Doklam was the precondition for any "meaningful dialogue" with India over the festering border row in the Sikkim section of the border.

"Our diplomatic channel is unimpeded and the withdrawal of the Indian border troops is the precondition for any meaningful dialogue and the communication between the two sides," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a press conference.

"The incident that happened in Sikkim section is quite clear that the Indian border troops illegally trespassed into Chinese territory," Lu added.

The borders of India, Bhutan and China meet at Doklam, which holds strategic importance to all three.

China calls Doklam its own but India and Bhutan call it Bhutanese territory.

India, a close ally of Bhutan, stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in Doklam in June, leading to the face-off between New Delhi and Beijing.

Now both armies are eyeball-to-eyeball at Doklam. India says it wants to resolve the issue diplomatically.

News24Bureau with Agencies