China's statement means return to status quo in Doklam

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China's statement that its troops will continue to patrol in the Doklam area and exercise "sovereignty in the region" effectively means that Chinese troops will return to status quo position before the standoff began with India, sources said. On Monday, India announced that it has reached an agreement with China over disengagement in Doklam area. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said soon after that Chinese border troops will "continue to patrol in Donglong", which India refers to as Doklam, in the Sikkim sector. The External Affairs Ministry in another statement on Monday evening clarified that the process of pulling out of troops by both Indian and Chinese sides was almost complete. "India never had a problem with China patrolling the area, neither has India any claim on the territory. The statement indicates that status quo will be restored," a government source said. The standoff started when China tried to construct a road in the territory controlled by Bhutan in the Doklam plateau, in the tri-junction area. The area is disputed between China and Bhutan. On the Bhutanese government's request, Indian soldiers stopped the Chinese road construction party, and requested them to stop their activity. This led to a standoff along the border in Sikkim, close to the tri-junction of India-China-Bhutan, which continued for two and a half months, with an agreement to disengage finally announced on Monday. China stakes its claim on the Doklam Plateau in Bhutan which overlooks the 'chicken neck' corridor that connects India's northeast to the remaining part of the country. India has been concerned over China's road construction activity, as it could jeopardise India's military operations in the area, and also put at threat the crucial Siliguri corridor.  

IANS