13:36 GMT +321 October 2017
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    Chinese soldier stands guard on the Chinese side of the ancient Nathu La border crossing between India and China. (File)

    Indian, Chinese NSAs Likely to Meet in Shadow of Border Standoff

    © AFP 2017/ DIPTENDU DUTTA
    Asia & Pacific
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    Amid the ongoing border standoff between India and China, the two sides’ National Security Advisers (NSA) are expected to meet on the sidelines of a BRICS NSA’s meet in Beijing this week.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — India’s NSA Ajit Doval is set to attend the meeting from July 27-28 and the Chinese foreign ministry hasn’t ruled out a possible bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi. Yang represents China in the boundary talks.

    "I don't have relevant information you mentioned right now. As far as we know, during the previous meetings the host countries arranged for the heads of the delegations to hold bilateral meetings in which they exchanged views on bilateral relations, BRICS cooperation, and multilateral affairs," PTI quoted Lu Kang, spokesperson, Chinese foreign ministry, as saying.

    In India, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay hasn’t revealed any information so far about Doval’s potential meeting with Yang.

    Ahead of Doval’s visit, a commentary by state-run Xinhua news agency highlighted that India and China "need to enhance communication and nurture trust between them."

    Indian experts say Doval’s visit may not result in a major change in posture in the immediate term.

    "I don’t see any major change in posturing out of the visit, not in a dramatic fashion at least. But his visit can certainly lay the pitch for future rounds of discussions," Harsh Pant, a Distinguished Fellow and Head of Observer Research Foundation's Strategic Studies Program, told Sputnik.

    Precedents suggest the BRICS NSAs would call on the hosting leadership of the country, but it is not clear whether this time the NSAs will meet President Xi Jinping or Premier Li Keqiang.

    The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson also reiterated that both countries enjoy smooth diplomatic channels, but didn’t forget to stress China’s stated official position on the standoff.

    In the ongoing standoff, China alleges that it is Indian troops that had “illegally crossed into their territory” and calling “India to pull back its troops”, linking it with talks between the two sides.

    Meanwhile, a series of editorials published in the Global Times, a mouthpiece of the Chinese government and communist party, warned India of dire consequences, including teaching it a 1962 kind of "bitter lesson."

    Last week, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed the Parliament that China intends to unilaterally change the status of the tri-junction with Bhutan, which poses a challenge to the country’s security.

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