What is the Doklam issue
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 armed forces primarily over the construction of a road in Doklam, known as Donglang, or Donglang Caochang, in Chinese. Recent(2017) 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, a disputed area between China and Bhutan is located near the tri-junction with India. How it all started
The trouble all brew on June 16th, 2016 when a few construction 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 send their troops to stop the process of road building. It emerged that the troops of each country begin pushing each other, leading to a low-intensity conflict referred to as jostling.
In the coming weeks, both countries stood their ground. China stated that India should first remove the troops before the scope of any negotiation. This was followed by verbal darts directed towards India. Wu Qian, a defense spokesman in the ministry of China went on record stating that “India should not be trying their luck too often and cling on to fantasies. The statements that come out of the semi-government officials of China were a blunder and indicated that the relation between both the countries could soar beyond repair.This was followed by a remark on August 21st that the foreign ministry of China was not satisfied by the actions of India. History of India China relations
For many political experts, the prevailing tensions and India’s decision to increase troops in Doklam was not a surprise. The reason for it is that there have been numerous confrontations between India and China till date. Most of them 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. One could say that this is what exactly happened here.
One could argue that 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 instigated the standoff. None of the actions on the part of China indicated that they were ready for a deal anytime soon. Track record of solving disputes
Keeping India and the Bhutan story apart, China has a pretty vocal record in solving border disputes with their neighbors. As per the records, China has solved 17 out of 23 disputes with their neighbors and many of the countries were willing to make reasonable sacrifices in solving the disputes. One must point out that the Doklam issue is an exceptional case. How India and China have worked towards the solution
The political along with economic relation between India and China have grown in recent months. Many felt that a deal could be reached removing the chances of a deadlock. Despite rumors of bilateral talks, no progress was achieved in that regard. It could be argued that the territorial dispute holds China in good stead as whenever Beijing seeks the attention of India they can gain it. At any point of time, China can create national crises for India by planting their troops in the disputed region. It points to the fact that India should respect the serenity that China holds over Tibet.
No doubts to the fact that China is an integral part of Tibet. The comments by the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh which claims this fact has compounded problems all the more. The future
It would be too early in pointing out that the border shuffle points a change in the strategic thinking of China. What would an aggressive approach to the border dispute on the part of China look like? Despite India being concerned about the assertive moves on the part of China, they will not be able to respond because of the prevailing economic ties. It is a fact that the Trump administration is looking for a peaceful solution to the border issues. A peaceful relation is the need of the hour for both the countries in the coming days.