India keeping a close vigil on issue, says MEA

India keeping a close vigil on issue, says MEA

A day after it denied reports that China had changed the "status quo" at Doklam, the government on Friday appeared to shift its stand slightly, saying it had "used mechanisms" to "resolve misunderstandings" with China.

Asked about concerns that China is preparing for a second standoff at Doklam area, he said Indian troops' intervention to stop building a key road close the Chicken Neck Corridor of India, has put the bilateral ties to severe test.

"Subsequently, in response to repeated questions about any change in the status quo at the face-off site, (the) government had stated that there was no basis for such imputations".

Reporting from Beijing, the newspaper quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang as asserting that China was entitled to build infrastructure in Doklam.

The comments came even as China repeated its old claims on controlling all of Doklam, and accused India again of "illegal transgressions" there previous year. "I don't know who offered such kind of photos".

"You must be quite clear".

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"It is legitimate and justified".

He said "Donglang" Doklam was Chinese sovereign territory, which he claimed had "always belonged to China and is always under China's effective jurisdiction".

He said China was exercising sovereignty in its own territory. "There is no dispute in this regard", he said. "Just as China will not make comments about Indian construction of infrastructure on India's territory, we hope other countries will not make comment on China's construction of infrastructure on its territory". Neither did he say whether there was any infrastructure development specifically at the face-off area, from where troops from both sides disengaged previous year after a 73-day face-off.

However, the army, which is aware of China's expansion activities in the region post-Doklam standoff, doesn't see this as "serious trouble".

"MEA statement does not say a word about the alleged construction by Chinese Army as depicted in satellite imagery. But while their troops may have returned and the infrastructure remains, it is any body's guess whether they would come back there, or it is because of the winter they could not take their equipment away", General Rawat said. "But we are also there, so in case they come, we will face them", he said.

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