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    A Matter of the Recent Past

    India and China are on a collision course. The Indian Defense establishment is opposed to China’s attempt to construct a road on the Doklam plateau leading right up to the Sikkim – Bhutan – Tibet tri – junction. This has emerged as a major flashpoint. It was the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan that was in trouble for Chinese soldiers had arrived with bulldozers and excavators, and was building a high mountain road in a disputed area near India’s border. The land in question spans 269 sq. km. on a sparsely populated plateau in western Bhutan, which has no diplomatic ties with China and coordinates its relations with Beijing through New Delhi. India responded to the call by sending forces to evict the Chinese army construction party from the area, as none of the two giant nuclear powers were willing to settle the dispute and was opposing each other frivolously and tactically.  Within a few days, Indian media were running leaked video footage of soldiers from both sides shoving one another atop a grassy flatland. Various statements were made by the Chinese Defense Ministry to provoke India for a war but they know well know alike us that how India strategically kept calm and made its way out of the mess peacefully. In that leaked video, Defence updates analyze why China cannot afford a war with India?

    Let’s take a look.

     India’s perspective

    The disputed area also provides, according to India’s perspective, a bigger buffer to its sensitive Chicken’s neck, or the Siliguri corridor, which is an extremely narrow stretch of land that connects the Northeast to the rest of the country. From the Chumbi valley it is just a little over 100 kilometers away.

    What do the experts say?

    “Maybe 20 years down the line, once we develop our border infrastructure on par with the Chinese, we can be more welcoming of better connectivity and be released about the dispute. Not for now.”

    Umm! Well, the experts know better.

    I’m not a media personnel, neither a spokesperson of any ministry or organization, so I can’t have a say on what’s really on with these two countries. India says that this Chinese road project threatens its access to the corridor and India’s foreign relations with Bhutan includes a protection of interests of the neighbor country in case of an attack, which China willfully denies and considers this issue as personal and says that India cannot have a say in this. To make it sound more similar, I’d better end this write up with arguments and response of China and India.

    Argument: New Delhi was violating the 1890’s treaty between Great Britain and China which had settled the boundary in the Sikkim region.

    Response: This is factually inaccurate, the Indian government asserts, as while the status of Sikkim within the Union of India is ‘settled’, the Indo china border along the state has not been finalized.

    Argument: Chinese statement tells New Delhi to ‘remember history’ and the 1962 war.

    Response: Defense Minister Arun Jaitley has cleared, “The situation in 1962 was different and the India of today is different.”

    Shivam Sonakiya

    sonakiyashivam@gmail.com

     


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