Doklam Standoff: In a long-standing dispute, evolving around India-China-Bhutan border, Doklam issue is about the military border standoff between the People’s Liberation Army of China and the Indian Army primarily over the construction of a road in Doklam, known as Donglang or Caochang , in Chinese. Recent satellite images and intelligence reports show several military posts erected by the Chinese, a few helipads and new trenches not very far from where the two armies faced off. India has also strengthened its presence in the region.
Doklam Standoff: India-China Border Dispute
The trouble brew on June 16th,2016 when a few constructions works of China were spotted on the Doklam plateau. The workers were well on their way to build a road that would enhance the strategic position of China into the territory of Bhutan. India went on to respond immediately and sent its troops to stop the process of road building. It emerged that the troops of each country begin pushing each other, leading to low-intensity conflict. China stated that India should first remove the troops before the scope of any negotiation. This was followed by verbal darts directed towards India.
India-China Relation History: Key Points
For many political experts, the prevailing tensions between both the nations are not new or a surprise. The reason for it is that there have been numerous confrontations between India and China to date. Most of these confrontations were nipped at the bud rather than some harsh statements which emerged from both sides. Once the tensions reduce, both countries try to work out a diplomatic solution rather than a military conflict. This particular standoff does highlight China’s disinterest in overlooking the border dispute between India and China. One needs to give consideration to the fact that China started the standoff. None of the actions on the part of China indicated that they were ready for a deal anytime soon.
China has a pretty vocal record in solving border disputes with neighbors. As per records, China has resolved 17 out of 23 disputes with their neighbors, and many countries were willing to make reasonable sacrifices in resolving the dispute. The Doklam issue is an exceptional case.
How Indian and China Have Worked Towards the Doklam Issue
The political along with economic relations between both countries have grown in recent months. Many felt that a deal could be reached removing the chances of a deadlock. Despite the bilateral talks, no progress was achieved in that regard. It could be argued that the territorial disputes hold China in good stead as whenever Beijing seeks the attention of India they can gain it. At any time, China can create a national crisis for India by planting their troops in the disputed region.
Doklam Standoff: Conclusion
In the end, I would like to say that the border shuffle points to a change in the strategic thinking of china. Despite India being concerned about the assertive moves on part of China, they will not be able to respond because of the prevailing economic ties. The US has also taken a strong stand against China and has asked them not to meddle in India’s internal matters. A peaceful resolution is the need to solve tense border disputes like the Doklam.