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Top ministers & Oppn leaders' meet: consensus on China, differences on Kashmir

Village near India China border

The Congress said it would attend a briefing of opposition parties by the government on the stand-off with China and the Kashmir situation later today, and asked the Modi dispensation to "share full information" on the issues.

Former Indian foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh said: "Mr Modi has built up this tough image back home to defend interests and punish those harming India".

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will on Friday brief the leaders of the opposition parties in an all-party meeting on the military face-off between India and China at Doklam Plateau in western Bhutan.

But its latest comment on Kashmir comes at a time the armies of India and China are locked in a standoff in Doklam area in the Sikkim sector.

On June 27, China had accused Indian border guards of crossing into its territory from the state of Sikkim on India's northeastern border with Tibet, complicating an already hard relationship. The stand-off started as Indian troops obstructed the construction of a Chinese road in the disputed area. The Opposition, which has been questioning government's handling of the two issues, will get a chance to raise queries with the government and also offer own suggestions and solutions. "Importance of India and China to remain engaged through diplomacy was underlined". India has joined the United States in its strategic designs in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean region which is aimed at containing China. Gopal Bagely, however, said that the two countries are using diplomatic channels to ease the tension.

The standoff at the top of the world, where China, India and Bhutan converge, is over a tiny, but strategically important strip of land controlled by China, and claimed by Bhutan.

Ajit Doval is likely to visit China for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) National Security Agency (NSA) meet, which is scheduled to be held on July 26 in Beijing this month. "India has openly sided with the U.S. positions on the South China Sea; India has opposed the Belt and Road Initiative", Karat said.

In fact the boundary issue that the Vajpayee and later the Manmohan Singh governments had tried to keep inside the bottle, seems to have burst out with India flexing its specific anti-China muscles in the public space, and Beijing upping the ante.

"The current standoff will not be able to force us to desert India as an ally and opt for China", added the analyst, who is a former government senior functionary.