The relations between India and China, also popularly known as Indo-Sino relations, dates back to ancient times. The Silk Road served as a major bridge between India and China for improvement in trade relations and also in the spread of Buddhism. Since these days, India and China have got along on several occasions. However, since the beginning of modern-day Indo-Sino relation in 1950, China has made frequent efforts to force its reigns into the Indian territory. The world has seen four Indo-Sino wars since then including the recent Indo-Sino stand-off. The recent Indo-Sino stand-off took place at the borders between Bhutan and India in regards to the issue of Indians advancing into Chinese territory in Donglang.
It has been a trend that China usually initiates any advancement in the Indian territory. Consider the first Indo-Sino war where the Chinese troops defeated Indian troops and advanced almost 48 kilometers into the Assam plains. The case with the next war is similar wherein the Chinese troops on the Sikkim border opened fire on a detachment of Indian soldiers. This war was initiated over the conflict of the territory of Sikkim region.
The recent Indo-Sino stand-off (Indo Sino face off) was an outcome of a long-running dispute regarding the borders of each nation. The Chinese held ground on the claim that India was violating their old treaty which was signed off by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1959. The treaty defined the borders between India, Sikkim and China. These borders were defined based on the estimated coordinates. However, China noticed that India was holding control over an additional area than what was allowed in the Indian territory by the treaty. This additional area was connected to the Bhutan borders in the form of a tri-junction which led to China’s military actions on those borders out of fear.
The stand-off witnessed the military forces of both the nations to get the reins of the region in their hand. The Chinese troops demanded the withdrawal of Indian troops from the soil they were occupying in Bhutan. They claimed that the land belonged to them as per the treaty while Bhutan and India held their stand and claimed that the area in question was in the Bhutanese territory and belonged to them. In the initial weeks, Chinese troops
advanced to a great extent. This led to Bhutan, a nation with close military and economic ties with India, to request Indian troops to support.
The struggle saw Indian troops supporting Bhutan in order to stop the Chinese troops from advancing into Bhutan’s territory. The major takeaway for Indian troops here was the prevention of infiltration of Chinese troops in the Indian territory. The troops stationed at Doka La province in Bhutan popularly claimed by India to be Doklam, a part of Indian territory. There were occasional clashes. The face-off continued for around 22 days post which they managed to agree diplomatically over the territory. The troops were ultimately withdrawn without conceding any ground on either side. However, the analysts foresee another stand-off to happen in the future and call this to be a temporary stand-off. It is a fact that the troops were withdrawn only on mutual terms between the two governments to put an end to the dispute. The world has been a witness, China repeatedly indulges into breaking the agreed terms and tries to infiltrate its troops into Indian territory. Thus, although the Indo-Sino face-off was called off based on a mutual disengagement, there are definite chances of it happening once again.