- Associated Press - Friday, July 28, 2017

BEIJING (AP) - India’s national security adviser was in Beijing Friday for discussions amid a standoff between Chinese and Indian forces over disputed territory high in the Himalayas that has now entered its second month.

There has been no official word about the talks between Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, who were believed to have met the day before on the sidelines of a meeting of the BRICS nations that also includes Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

The standoff began in June after Indian troops were sent to confront Chinese forces working on a road over the Doklam Plateau that is also claimed by India ally Bhutan. China and India fought a border war in 1962 and much of their frontier remains in dispute, with multiple rounds of bilateral talks making little headway on a resolution.

Speaking at the BRICS meeting Friday, Doval said discussions on security issues among the five nations were part of efforts to “help global peace and stability.” The grouping is largely focused on economic and trade issues and has no formal mechanism for mediating security disputes among its members.

China has demanded that Indian troops withdraw unilaterally before any talks can be held on the matter, while New Delhi says each side should stand down. Both claim to have the preponderance of international opinion on their side.

China’s ruling Communist Party-controlled press has used the confrontation to mock Indian efforts to stand up to Beijing, echoing official Chinese statements warning India not to “push its luck” and pledging to pay any price to defend Chinese sovereignty.

Writing in the official newspaper Global Times on Friday, Chinese navy researcher Zhang Ye said: “As long as India keeps its military force there, it will fall deeper into the strategic dilemma created by itself.”

On Thursday, Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesman, Gopal Baglay declined to comment on Doval’s meetings in Beijing, but said the impasse should be handled peacefully through dialogue and in a “manner that they do not become disputes.

“That remains our approach and this is exactly what we have said in the past,” Baglay told journalists in New Delhi.

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Associated Press writer Nirmala George in New Delhi contributed to this report.

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