Must Read: India & China Standoff, A Paradigm Shift in Strategic Affairs in BRICS Meeting

Beijing on 27-28.AjitDoval is in China to attend a BRICS meeting of National Security Advisors in

As we all now knowthe nameDokaLam, is doing the rounds throughout the world, and Chinese Media was hellbent in attacking the perception of India, through this DoKaLam Pass claiming it to be theirs. As we all know Beijing continues to hold a hard-linestance, in a rare move of brinkmanship China Had asked our Army to withdraw from the plateau, while at the same issuing an ultimatum that its people Liberation Army, will not wait at any cost. India has taken a more cautious approach by using more Prudence and a measured approach expressing a willingness to negotiate and execute a mutual withdrawal.

Before I go into the details, let me Give you all a brief About Dokalam and the India- china Border.

In the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan that sounded the alarm—Chinese soldiers had arrived with bulldozers and excavators, and were building a high-mountain road near India’s border in an area the two nuclear-armed giants have disputed over for decades. It’s a Tri Boundary Junction Separating India, Bhutan, and China. This is an old quarrel, India and China have faced off frequently since fighting 1962 war, which seized certain territory, where in Troops from both sides has fired any shot in decades. Negotiations since 1985 to settle the boundary dispute have seen little success. This land which is in question spans around 269 sq.km. on a sparsely populated plateau in Western Bhutan, which has no diplomatic ties with China and co-ordinates its relations with Beijing through New Delhi.But India and China have staked rival claims areas around Arunachal Pradesh, which China refers to as “Southern Tibet” as well as Aksai Chin.

Bhutanese Government raised an alarm, by stating that the road China has been building would run from inside the town of Dokalam to the Bhutanese army camp at Zompleri. Bhutan’s Foreign Ministry referred it to as “Direct Violations”, of Agreements which was reached in 1988 & !998 to maintain peace and any unilateral action for the border disputes settlement.

Why Dokalam Is of Strategic Importance to India?

Let me tell you all friends, as far as India is concerned, securing the Dokalam Plateau is essential to maintaining its control over a land corridor that connects to its remotest North-Eastern states.  India has already expressed its displeasure over the Chinese road Project which threatens its access to the corridor, while China has questioned that India doesn’t have any say in between Bhutan and Beijing. But A Straight warning from our Indian Army’s chef, warned earlier this month that our Indian Army can fight two and a half years battle, if needed to secure its borders.

Many Security experts gave the opinion that China has been trying for a long-time to gain tactical advantage in this sector. As they have already established dominance along the Indian Borders at Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. The Dispute was discussed briefly without any resolution by Chinese President XiJinPing, and our PM Modi, on the sidelines of the G-20, Summit in Hamburg Germany early July. It was expected to be taken up by Our National Security Advisor, Mr. Ajit Doval when he visits China for another Security Forum. This DoKalam standoff is the latest of many irritants that we have seen, creating a rift between the world’s two most populous Nations.

“This is not the first time, that we have a standoff with China”, said foreign Affairs analyst and retired Indian Diplomat G. Parthasarathy, predicting a period of stalematefollowed by a Political Compromise if the tensionsfollow past patterns.

He also further went on saying “China is an Ultra-Nationalist mood of establishing a hegemony power in Asia”.The best thingfor China is to sit down and talk”. China is very frustrated with India’s refusal to sign on to a massive effort to build railways, ports and roads reaching from Asia to Europe and the Middle-East. The Project which includes a China-Pakistan economic Development Programme aimed at absorbing as much as $46 billion in Investment, most of it from Chinese banks. China is also very Upset over India’s accepting Dalai Lama, as a refugee in 1959. The Tibetan Buddhist Spiritual leader has kept his headquarters in Northern India since fleeing Chinese-ruled Tibet.

Despite all theseirritants, India and China had entered into a bilateral trade agreement in 1985 and have stepped up cooperation in Agriculture, Science, and Cultural exchange. Having said all the agreements to arrive at an amicable solution, Mr. AjitDorval’s China Visit for a BRICS meeting has raised expectations on India and China finding a way to end this Standoff between India and China in Doklam areain Sikkim sector. What we find is that amid the Sikkim Standoff, National Security advisor, Ajit Doval arrived in Beijing, to attend BRICS Top security officials meeting during which he is expected to take place on 27-28th July. NSA advisors main aim is to offer Solutions, rather finding a way outbof the over a month-long stand-off at Doklam area in Sikkim sector passing through Chumbi valley. But it’s quite evident that India is committed to finding an amicable resolution t6o the ongoing standoff between Chinese and Indian Troops in Doklam in Sikkim Sector which is acceptable to the concerned countries, the Lok Sabha was informed too. In a written reply, Minister of State for External affairs VK Singh conveyed that “the Government has maintained constant communication with Bhutan. Chinese and Indian Soldiers are locked in a face-off in Doklam area in the southernmost part of the Tibet”.

As we all know the area is also conveyed by India’s ally Bhutan for over a month after over a month after Indian Troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road near the disputed area. China’s argument was that of it is constructing the road within their territory, and has been demanding immediate pull-out of the Indian Troops.

Mr.V.K. Singhsaid,“It has also been conveyed to the Chinese side that their actions in Doklam area amount to a significant change in the status quo which is not in Consonance with the bilateral understandings reached between two countries under the framework of the special representatives on the boundary issue since the Doklam area is directly relevant for determination of the Tri-Junction point between India, China and Bhutan.”

The Minister also further added “India is also engaged with the Chinese Government through the Diplomatic Channel’s, to maintain peace and tranquillity in accordance with various bilateral agreements… and is committed to finding an amicable resolution acceptable to concerned countries”, said Mr.V.K. Singh.

Now friends, as Iam writing this article, I find that there is a News on the News Channels that our National Security Advisor,Mr. Ajit Doval,who has met with his counterpart in China, Beijing, offered amicable solutions – Mr. Ajit Doval offered Solutions in abilateral meeting with his counterpart at China, Beijing, that Chinese Troops should go back 250 mts from where they are building the road. But Immediately Chinese counterpart gave their defence by saying that it’s not acceptable for 250 mts., but only 100 mts. Now the talk stands in between the Sq.Mts., on 28thMr. Ajith Doval will meet Chinese President.

National Security Advisor Mr. Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on Thursday discussed “major Problems”, in bilateral ties, the foreign Ministry here said after the first high-level meeting between India and China since the military standoff erupted in the Sikkim sector on June 16.  The Chinese foreign Ministry, in a brief on Doval -Yang meeting, said Yang “elaborated China’s position on bilateral issues and major problems”, which is being an apparent reference to the standoff in Doklam area. Doval and Yang included bilateral relations, international and regional issues, and multilateral affairs.

India has been Maintaining that the unilateral action by china to build a road along the TriBoundary Junction was altering the status quo,and had serious implications for India.

Agendas for BRICS NSA meeting—The Chinese foreign Ministry said that meeting on Security issues are a major platform for BRICS countries to discuss for co-operation Political and Military sectors.

According to me the SIGNIFICANCE for both the Nations are to strengthen Strategic relationship, enhancePolitical and mutual trust, and create an impactin the Global scenario in a huge manner. Most importantly discussions will be held on Security, and Energy security, other issues which are concerning National Security and Development. As we all know friends that India China standoff began from June 16, when Chinese troops attempted to lay a road in the Dokalam area. DokaLa is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region. India and China share a 220 Km long border in Sikkim Section.

NSA Chief Ajit Doval meets China’s Xi Jinping  with BRICS counterparts—Let me give you some inferences from this meet

The two countries are in the thick of a military standoff at Doklam, Sikkim, a trijunction laid claim to by India, China, and Bhutan. National Security Advisor met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Friday in a group session which involved Ajit Doval’s Counterparts from other BRICS countries. The two Nations which in Standoff position at DoKLam in Sikkim sector. Apart from Doval, his counterparts from BRICS countries were also present. Doval earlier met with Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi, during which bilateral ties and “Regional Issues” were discussed, news agency Xinhua reported. This was the first high Profile meeting since the beginning of the military standoff.

Mr. Doval while meeting Chinese Premiere, made, or rather stressed very clearly the fact that BRICS Nations must unite to fight against Terror. But what Chinas Perspective is that they also are of the view that Both countries need to fight against terror, but there is always read between the lines, when it comes to China, let’s ponder upon those points, both nations agree to disagree, Both Ajit Doval and Chinese President Xi Jinping met with each other kept their viewpoint during the group session. So, we find that Diplomatic engagements are taking place in full swing/ rather diplomatic channels are available. But we find now and then there are issues which are repeatedly striking on the part of China—

1.The issue of ban on Masood Azhar was opposed by Chinese.

  1. Regarding the Membership of National Security Group (NSG), where we found China was against India getting a membership to NSG fearing our dominance.
  2. CPEC-China Pakistan Economic Corridor (Gwador Link) which Passes through Jammu.

All said and done many experts from both the Nations feel that India and Chinas issues can be resolved through Diplomatic ways. Recently we find that India & Mongolia co-operation signals to Beijing that India can play the geopolitical game in China’s backyard.

Let me give you all a brief about India & Mongolia ties-India-Mongolia relations have been on upswing since PM Modis visit on May 2015 visit. During this visit India extended a credit line of 1$billion to Mongolia. Both the Nation have been cooperating in Security arena. India contributes to training of Mongolian Military officers. Both conduct Military exercises called ‘Nomadic Elephant’. Strategic Counterbalance against China in Asia is part of PM Modi’s “Act EastPolicy”.  As we all Chinese pressurised Mongols, so they look up to India as a new power to counter Beijing. What we see is that in Sino-Mongolia trade relations follow a pattern of Chinese domination. India’s closeness with Vietnam and Japan which are rivals for china sends jitters to China.

Now, I would like to say that India & China is story of confrontation and Convergences especially confronting Geo-Political issues concerning South Asia. Regarding the standoff, China acknowledge the fact that that Mr. Doval and hisChinese Counterpart Mr. YangJienchi met on the sidelines of the BRICS NSAs meet during which they discussed “major Problems”, in bilateral ties. The BRICS NSAs focussed on Global Governance, Counter-terrorism, Cyber Security, and Energy Security, International and regional hotspots and National security and development.

I would like to end with a Positive Note by quoting Chinese President Xi Jinping “The BRICS co-operation has 10 years of history and the five-member group of emerging countries have carried on meaningful co-operation despite geographical distance and different political systems establishing a new type of International relations”. This meeting comes amid a standoff between China and India standoff. Hope the Prudence prevails, China and India will find an amicable Solution on Mutual Trust & Co-operation.

Jai Hind

Dr. Sukanya Iyer


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