Once our former Prime Minister Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee said that “We can choose our friends but not our neighbours”. But looking at activities of Pakistan and China, the option of choosing the neighbours would have been great.
This time China is the reason why I am thinking like wise, due to the expansive attitude of China it has border disputes with almost every neighbouring country and unfortunately India is also included in the list. By looking at the recent aggressiveness of China in Chumbi Valley it can be said that government of the People’s Republic of China still have the same mentality that it use to have at the time of Mao Zedong.
What happened on 16th June 2017
The recent military standoff between India and China started on 16th of June this year when the latter has started to construct the road in the area disputed between China and Bhutan. Here a question arises that if the land dispute is between China and Bhutan then why India is bothered about it? Well, India is concerned with Chinese construction because if China builds the road in that area then it will have better connectivity to that area with rest of the china which will increase the security concerns of India.
Geographical situation of Doklam Plateau
So we can clearly see where exactly is the doklam plateau and how near it is from the tri junction point ( Tri junction point is the point where the border of 3 countries meets) on the above map.
Area where the road is being constructed by China
Now another question is that even if the road is being constructed then what is the security concern does India have? So if China constructs the road in the circled area then that area will have a better connectivity to the Yadong region which already have a very well developed rail and road network ( see the yellow lines which resemble the rail and road network) which can helps China to rapidly move the military to this region if any conflicts arise near the tri-junction area which has definitely built pressure over India.
Why was India so concerned?
From image 2 and image 3 we can see how close is the tri-junction point from the Siliguri corridor, which is also known as the chicken’s neck of India which connects the seven north eastern states with rest of the India. So if China builds the road then it will be very easy for China to attack the Siliguri Corridor and in that situation the 7 sister states will be cut off from rest of the country and then we might lose them which definitely we don’t want, so strategically it’s important for India to keep China away from that area, that’s why India immediately opposed the road construction in the disputed area.
Why China got furious?
China said that it is constructing the road on its own land and India should not have any problem with it, but here is a point to keep in mind that China is conducting the construction activity in the disputed area.
So when Bhutan oppose this activity, China simply ignore the Bhutanese opposition then latter seek the help from India. Then Indian soldiers stop the construction activity. So this is the complete issue and reason of Indian involvement in the same.
Major events during standoff
This is not the 1st time when India and China are confronting each other, it is the 4th standoff between the two nuclear powers of Asia, but unlike to the last three standoffs which were ended in around 3 weeks, this time 2 militaries kept staring at each other for 70 days.
- As soon as this issue came up China cancelled the Kailash Mansarovar yatra through Nathu La pass.
- China was demanding India to withdraw its troops unconditionally from the border and acknowledge its sovereignty over Doklam area, but India put its point very firmly that both nations should withdraw their troops simultaneously.
- China released many statements to provoke India like “India should not forget 1962 war” but on this Indian Defence Minister gave a biffing reply that “If they are trying to remind us, the situation in 1962 was different and India of 2017 is different,”.
- MEA Mrs Sushma Swaraj also told to Lok Sabha that “India has the support of all countries.” and during the recent visit of Japanese Prime Minister it is clear from its statement.
- Japan backs India and says, ‘Must Not Change Status Quo By Force’.
The standoff over, India and China withdraw troops from Doklam.
With growing international support in favour of India and BRICS summit approaching fast, China is agreed to resolve the issue. Both the nations disengaged the army from the Doklam area, but China will continue the patrolling in the area and that is not the concern of India, China also stopped its construction activity. Finally, after almost 2 months of standoff, both the nations move to the status quo i.e. the status before 16th of June without any military confrontation.
So, China whose known for its aggressive expansion policy attacked India in 1962 due to almost similar reasons, agreed to stop its activities in the disputed area on raising the concerns from India that too without any use of the military is in my view nothing less than a win for India.