July 13, 2017 | By Avtar Singh
by: Avtar Singh
The purposely freezed relations between Indian and Chinese authorities are starting to melt. Not only these mutual relations are melting but these are turning from bad to worse. The so called trespass by Indian troops in the Doklam region of Chinese-Indian and Bhutan trijunctional border has created a very tense and war like situation between both the countries where the military and political leadership of both the countries are beating the drums of war.
In international diplomacy, China was thought to be a mature player which can ignore the childish games of its neighbours. But on the issue of Doklam region it has started to show its true colours. As its Foreign Office is issuing statements over the recent dispute with India on regular basis..
On the other hand India maintains that it has not trespassed any region illegally and it has a treaty with Bhutan to protect its interests in the region.
China maintains that, ‘the trespass of the Indian troops took place at the defined Sikkim section of the China-India boundary, which is different in nature of previous frictions and stand-offs between the two sides.’ Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Suhag while issuing the statement on this issue said,’ this incident is quite serious in nature’
On the other side Indian intellectuals and diplomats maintains that China is selectively using history to determine its position on this issue. Indian diplomats are of the view that the actual reason of aggressive Chinese policy is the so called Indian interference in Bhutan’s issues.
Indian intellectuals maintain that Beijing has whitewashed Bhutan’s concerns which, in fact sparked the standoff on June 16, when Royal Bhutan Army confronted the PLA about a road it was building into its area disputed with Bhutan. China however sees it as a Chinese territory. According to Indian authorities, the Indian army interfered two days later only when PLA ignored Bhutan’s protests.
Indian authorities are of the view that as China’s road networks and capabilities expanded towards Sikkim and the trijunction, it was perhaps a matter of time before Beijing began to eye the Doklam plateau that extends to the trijunction.
Indian authorities maintain that China is using history selectively to justify its moves. According to them, they say that China cited a March 22, 1959 letter from Jawaharlal Nehru to Zhou Enali, where he acknowledged that, ‘the boundary of Sikkim, a protectorate of India with the Tibet region of China, was defined in the Anglo-Chinese convention of 1890 and jointly demarcated on ground in 1895’
But Indian authorities said, that in the same letter Nehru also writes,’ a treaty of 1842 between Kashmir on the one hand and the Emperor of China and the Lama Guru of Lhasa on the other, mentions the India-China boundary in the Ladakh region’ and in 1847 Chinese government admitted that this boundary was sufficiently and distinctly fixed’.
Despite these intellectual and historical information and mis-information China has changed the rules of engagement in the current issue. Chinese foreign policy towards India which was seen as passive up-to now is turning to be aggressive. With an eye on global market and global strategic issues, China is towing its path on its own terms. Despite Indian requests of back door diplomatic consultation to resolve the current issue, China is getting aggressive.
In China Daily its official newspaper, the Foreign Office spokesman Geng Suhag has warned India about any misadventure in the region. The statement released by Suhag read,’ A diplomatic solution to the standoff in China’s Doklam is not possible if Indian troops are preparing for a long stay in the area, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news conference in Beijing on Monday.
According to Indian media reports, the Indian troops that illegally entered Doklam are maintaining “a line of supplies” and are ready to stay “for the long haul”.
“If the reports are true, then they only prove that India’s illegal trespass was organized and premeditated,” Geng said.
“India is deliberately disrupting the status quo of the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary. How could there be a diplomatic solution if India is ready to stay for the ‘long haul’ in the border area and does not intend to retreat its troops?”
The spokesman repeated that India should withdraw its troops immediately and that it “is the prerequisite and basis for any meaningful and substantive dialogue between the two sides”.
Diplomatic communication is smooth between the two countries, but China hopes India will “take effective measures and make concrete efforts” to resolve the incident, Geng added.
In another statement released under the title of, ‘India Misleading Public Opinion’, Chinese foreign office said,’ Indian troops trespassing on Chinese territory have nothing to do with the trijunction of the borders between China, India and Bhutan, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, adding that India is “misleading public opinion” by introducing this aspect into the incident.
The trespass took place in the Sikkim section of the China-Indian border, which is more than 2,000 meters away from the trijunction. The section was demarcated by the Convention Between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet in 1890.
“It is obviously with ulterior motives that the Indian side ignores the border convention and said the trijunction lies in the whole area of Doklam,” Geng said.
Responding to a reporter’s comment that the convention was without meaning after the war between China and India at the border in 1962, the spokesman reiterated that the Indian government has clearly acknowledged the validity of the convention on many occasions.
“The legitimacy and validity of the convention, once signed, will not be affected by the change of government or state system,” Geng said.
It is clear from the firm stand of Chinese authorities that this time they are in no mood of any compromise without the withdrawal of Indian troops. And further the most damaging political stance which China has taken is about Kashmir. It is the first time that China has raked the Kashmir issue in any of its diplomatic war with India. It could be very pricking for Indian side, because Kashmir is very sensitive issue for Indian Interior and Foreign Ministry and it could provide oxygen to the militant movement in Kashmir.
The serious observers of global diplomacy are of the view that now China start viewing India from Pakistan’s eye. Same, as USA is viewing Pakistan from Indian eye. With its greater economic interests in Pakistan, China has started a cold war like situation in the region.
Now the diplomatic and strategic game has acquired new dimensions in this cold war, which although not in near future but in the long run could change the strategic and demographic situation of this region.