Dokalam stand-off: U.S. calls for India-China dialogue

The meeting was focused mainly on the standoff between the armies of India and China in Doklam in the Sikkim sector

The meeting was focused mainly on the standoff between the armies of India and China in Doklam in the Sikkim sector

The Doklam standoff between India and China was very much on the table when Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met her Bhutanese counterpart Damcho Dorji here on Friday, with the latter expressing hope that the situation is resolved peacefully. The claim has reportedly been strongly denied by Bhutan. "Our defence forces have adequate equipment to face any eventuality", Jaitely said, without any mention of the Doklam stand-off which has been going on for almost two months.

"The troop level along the border with China in the Sikkim and Arunachal sectors has been increased", the official said without giving further details.

India has made its stance clear that that it stands for peace and the border question can be solved diplomatically, not by war. Bhutan protested, as they also claim Doklam as part of their territory.

Neither India nor China has shown any sign of backing off from a face-off that began almost three months. The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has planted its feet and claimed the Chinese project threatens India's security.

A section of the Indian media had reported on Thursday that almost a hundred residents of Nathang village in Sikkim, 35 km way from the faceoff point in Doklam, were asked to evacuate their houses by the Indian Army as a precautionary measure to avoid civilian casualties in the eventuality of a skirmish with Chinese forces. China has insisted that India should unilaterally withdraw its forces before any dialogue.

China has repeatedly warned of an escalation if India does not pull back its soldiers with state-controlled newspapers warning this week that a countdown to a military standoff has begun.

Doklam has proved the flashpoint to years of simmering tension between the nations. Therefore, the border standoff in the Doklam area is linked with China's domestic politics.

Meanwhile, India has strengthened its ties with the United States and Japan, geopolitical adversaries of Beijing.

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