China has not shared hydrological data on rivers Satluj and Brahmaputra this year despite an agreement, the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) said on Thursday.
However, the MEA was not sure whether it was intentional amid the Doklam standoff or due to some technical reasons.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said there is an existing expert-level mechanism, established in 2006, and there are two MoUs under which China is expected to share hydrological data on rivers Satluj and Brahmaputra with India during the flood season of May 15 to June 15.
“For this year, we have not received hydrological data from the Chinese side,” the spokesperson said.
However, he added that it was “premature” to link it with the floods in Assam as there can be “technical reasons” behind China not sharing the data.
MEA also did not confirm the reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to China next month to attend Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) summit, saying he does not have any information about it.
Kumar also said that India is trying to engage with China to find a mutually acceptable solution to the “sensitive” border dispute in the Doklam plateau.
“It is a sensitive issue... We will continue to engage with China to find mutually acceptable solution. Peace and tranquillity in border areas are important pre-requisites for smooth development of bilateral relations.”
However, he quipped, “I am not an astrologer, so cannot predict”, when asked by when the Dokalam standoff will be resolved.
He also noted that in view of floods in Bihar, India was closely coordinating with Nepal, both at Centre and state-level.
Asked about the reported comments of the Japanese Ambassador on Dokalam face off and if India welcomes it, Kumar gave a very guarded reaction, saying the remarks speak for themselves.
The Japanese ambassador was quoted in media as saying that no country should use unilateral forces to alter the status of Dokalam.
“We recognise Dokalam is a disputed area between Bhutan and China and two countries are engaged in border talks... We also understand that the India has a treaty understanding with Bhutan that’s why Indian troops got involved in the area,” the ambassador had reportedly said.
Reacting to the Japanese ambassador’s comments, Chinese foreign ministry in Beijing said, “I want to remind him not to randomly make comments before clarifying relevant facts. In the Donglong (Doklam) area, there is no territorial dispute. The boundary has been delimited and recognised by the two sides.”
Kumar also refused to divulge details of communication by other countries to India on the Dokalam issue.
(With PTI inputs)