In a Confrontation Over Doklam, China Will Likely Be the Eventual Loser

The Wire | 8/15/2017 | Onkar Marwah
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Any hostilities will be short and non-conclusive, and will puncture the image of itself that China has built.

June - Information - Troops - Doklam - Region

On June 16, it became public information that Indian troops had entered the Doklam region near the Chumbi Valley tri-junction area wedged between Bhutan, India and Tibet/China, and stopped a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) construction crew from completing the hard-surfacing of an earlier dirt track. The Doklam plateau is one of the disputed territories between Bhutan and China. It is opposite Sikkim and slightly north of the narrow Siliguri corridor connecting the mainland territory of India to its seven northeastern states and region.

Bhutan and China do not have formal diplomatic relations. Despite that, the two states have held a number of meetings to resolve their boundary differences inclusive of the Doklam area, without any resolution so far. Separately, framework agreements between India and China lay down that no unilateral changes to the territorial status quo in their disputed trijunction areas will be undertaken by any party – in this instance, inclusive of Bhutan – pending a final, mutually-acceptable delineation. In addition, Bhutan and India have close military relations, which is why, as the Indian government says, Indian troops were tasked to help Bhutan stop the Chinese road building work.

Hard-surfacing - Dirt - Track - Doklam - China

The attempted hard-surfacing of the earlier dirt track in Doklam by China was in the disputed area between Bhutan and China. India intervened and stopped the Chinese effort to unilaterally change the status quo under terms of its own agreements with China, and in support of its security obligations to Bhutan.

China, on the other hand, has from the very beginning asserted that the territory in dispute with Bhutan is ‘Chinese sovereign land,’ which India forcefully disagrees with.

Series - Meetings - Years

It needs to be recalled that despite a series of meetings over the years between Indian and...
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