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No talks unless India withdraws, China says before Doval visit

On the eve of Indian NSA Ajit Doval’s China visit to attend the BRICS security summit, Beijing on Wednesday made clear that India’s pullback from Doklam on the border remained the “precondition” for any dialogue on the issue.

The Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s remarks, who on Tuesday blamed India for triggering the border row and asked it to withdraw its troops, were “authoritative”.

“The solution as the Foreign Minister put it is that Indian border troops pull out unconditionally and this is the precondition for any meaningful talks between both countries,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.

Doval will attend the two-day BRICS National Security Advisers meet in Beijing beginning on Thursday.

The meet, where the five-nation bloc traditionally discusses counterterrorism and security issues, assumes significance in the view of festering border row between India and China.

It is not known if Doval will meet China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi separately on the sidelines of the summit.

On Monday, an editorial said India should not pin hopes on Doval’s visit to resolve the border stand-off.

China has told India repeatedly to withdraw troops from Doklam, which it calls as its own. New Delhi says troops from both sides should withdraw as Doklam belongs to its ally Bhutan.

Bhutan, a Himalayan nation that has no diplomatic ties with China, has also protested against the road construction by Chinese troops in Doklam.

Doklam, at the tri-junction of China, India, and Bhutan, holds strategic importance to all three.

In June, the Indian Army stopped road construction by Chinese troops, leading to the stand-off that is now in its second month.

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