Dokalam standoff ‘safely resolved’ after talks: PLA official


Beijing:┬áThe 73-day-long Dokalam standoff was “safely resolved” after several rounds of talks with India, a top Chinese military official said Sunday on the sidelines of the ongoing Congress of the ruling CPC.

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) official Liu Fang spoke about the resolution of the Dokalam standoff citing it as an example of how the Chinese military is trying to resolve issues through dialogue mechanisms with different countries.

“We also conducted a lot of practical cooperation,” she said referring to the Dokalam standoff which began on June 16 when the Chinese military attempted to build a road in the territory claimed by Bhutan close to the Chicken’s Neck area connecting India’s north eastern states with the mainland.

The standoff ended on August 28 with mutual understanding after China halted the construction of the road.

“Of course it is safely resolved right now,” Liu said.

“My colleagues in the military and other ministries worked very closely and held negotiations with the Indian side many times,” while China clearly reiterated its position, she said.

“All of this contributed a lot to the peaceful resolution of China-India cross border dispute,” she said, referring to the standoff.

Observers attach significance to the PLA acknowledging peaceful resolution of the Dokalam standoff, at the CPC Congress which is set to endorse a second term for President Xi Jinping.

The Chinese military is working hard to build up new platforms and measures to improve international cooperation she said, adding, “we already have dialogue mechanisms with 28 organisations”.

Referring to the address of President Xi at the once-in- five-years Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on October 18, Liu said she is “very very inspired” by the report delivered by him outlining “tremendous progress and achievements”.

In his address, Xi had spoken about plans to turn the PLA into a world class force.

Terming the speech as “profound and fundamental,” she said “we totally agree with it”.

Besides being president, Xi also heads the CPC and the country’s military as chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the overall high command of the 2.3 million-strong PLA, the world’s largest army.

Liu said China is playing a larger and greater role in increasing its international influence.

China is making efforts in international peacekeeping, maritime cooperation and disaster relief.

“All this shows our responsibility as a big power nation.

We keep our voice louder and louder at the international stage,” she said.

The Chinese military is showing its confidence in the international arena and its spokesmen actively interacted with the international media to explain the version of Chinese army and also correct misunderstandings, she said.

“By doing so we want to convey the correct, clear and accurate information about China’s military development,” Liu said.

She along with other young military officials interacted with the media sharing their experiences in the military and their appreciation of Xi’s leadership.

The Chinese military, which has undergone a massive reform drive since Xi took power in 2012, has an annual budget of over USD 141 billion, next only to the US.