Amid the diplomatic standoff in Sikkim, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Thursday held talks China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi at the Brics Summit in Beijing, ANI reported. Doval is currently in China to attend a two-day Brics meeting with his counterparts from Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa.

Yang, a seasoned diplomat, is considered to be one of the most important people who shaped China’s current foreign policy. Apart from the border dispute at Sikkim’s Doklam area, Doval is expected to raise India’s concerns over China’s Belt Road Initiative, in which it has refused to participate.

Yang met senior security officials from South Africa and Brazil, besides India, at the summit. He said China agrees with the commons interests of the member states to strengthen their partnership, state news agency Xinhua reported.

China, which currently holds the presidency of the five-member group, will host the 2017 Brics summit in September at Xiamen city.

The Sikkim standoff

Bilateral ties have been strained since the Indian Army stopped China from constructing a road in Sikkim sector’s Doklam area. New Delhi has made it clear that it will not allow Beijing to construct a motorable road up to the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction through the Doklam plateau.

Doval may call on Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday.

Stapled visa matter raised in bilateral meetings: Sushma Swaraj

Meanwhile, the government on Thursday said the issuance of stapled visas by China to the people of Arunachal Pradesh was raised with Beijing in bilateral meetings. “We used to say that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India,” Swaraj said while replying to questions in the Rajya Sabha. “And when we say that, we want China to recognise this. Our policy has been made very clear.”

A stapled visa is where the stamps of the visiting country are not marked on the passport but on pages that are stapled to it. When a person leaves the visiting country, the pages are torn out leaving no record of their visit. China issues stapled visas for residents of Jammu and Kashmir.