China has been very vociferous in its threats regarding a possible military confrontation if India doesn’t order a retreat of its troops. The latest of the threats involved a Chinese mouthpiece warning India that China may intervene militarily in Kashmir if Pakistan so demands.

This is pure hogwash, and the Modi government recognizes it. It is standing firmly behind its armed forces as they give China a taste of its own medicine. Apparently, the Indian Army is ready for the long haul in holding onto its position in the Doklam area near the Bhutan tri-junction.

The soldiers who’ve been deployed in the region have pitched their tents indicating to the Chinese that they aren’t ready to retreat. Only if China shows the same reciprocity will our troops budge from their place.

A steady line of supplies is being maintained for thesesoldiers signalling to the Chinese that any amount of sabre-rattling by the ‘Dragon’ wouldn’t force the ‘Tiger’ to succumb under pressure.

Despite the aggression on the border, the government feels confident that a diplomatic solution can be found to the tension. But for that to happen, China must also step up and talk peace as it was China’s attempt to build a road in a strategically important area that triggered this standoff.

The road link that the Chinese were trying to establish could give China a major military advantage over India, which is something that New Delhi has conveyed to Beijing.

It is not only on land that the Modi government is showing spine in taming the ‘Dragon’, but it is also preparing to counter China at sea where its rampant expansionism has led to major disputes with numerous smaller nations.

New Delhi is now eyeing a stronger strategic defence in the southern Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Prime Minister Modi had visited Mauritius and Seychelles in 2015 in an attempt to strengthen India’s ties with them and to counter China’s maritime clout.

Now, the government is pushing for building infrastructure in two islands in Mauritius and Seychelles – thought to be Assumption in Seychelles and Agalega in Mauritius – as both are considered key in the IOR because of strategic and economic reasons.

Such proactive diplomacy and aggression is something that the Chinese aren’t used to witnessing with respect to India. Prime Minister Modi recently described India’s relations with Israel as ‘I for I’ meaning ‘India for Israel’. And his policy with China is the same, only the difference being the abbreviation stands for ‘eye for an eye’.


Vinayak Jain

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