September 27, 2017
India has taken a very responsible role in respecting the international boundaries in the wake of the standoff with China in the Doklam area of the Sikkim section, a former top US diplomat has said. “Look, India is a critical Himalayan power and who has played by the rule of law, respects the rule of law…I think they (Indians) are setting an important example for other countries. I hope other countries, including China, can resolve any disputes they might have with India through dialogue,” Richard Verma, the former US Ambassador to India, told PTI.
The 48-year-old Indian-origin diplomat said “all of us will welcome” a de-escalation and a commitment to resolving the issue through dialogue. “I’ve watched this dispute over the last few weeks play out and I think India has really taken a very responsible and important role in respecting the international boundaries, playing an important role in peace and stability and also calling for dialogue,” Verma said.
In an apparent dig at China, the former diplomat said, “I think to try to change the status quo militarily or through coercion is not the way to go about it, and to the extent that differences between India and China, I’ve always been encouraged that the two sides do talk a lot and do talk regularly,” Verma said.
Verma left the position of US Ambassador to India on January 20 this year. The Trump administration is yet to nominate a replacement for him. Referring to the Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific signed between the two countries when the then US President Barack Obama visited India in January 2015, Verma said India and the US were in clear and strong agreement that they are a society in a region and an international system that has to be governed by the rule of law. “That means resolving disputes peacefully, that means respecting international borders, that means abiding by international norms, and traditions, and rules,” he said.