The Doklam standoff between Indian Army and Chinese PLA started in the sacred valleys of the Himalayas.
In mid-June, a remote area called the Dolam plateau in the Himalayas where the boundaries of China, India and Bhutan meet made headlines when Indian and Chinese troops began a standoff over a road construction project. China conducted a live-fire exercise in the area, and there have been false reports of deaths. Diplomatic efforts are underway to de-escalate the situation, but still the risk of war has been on everyone’s mind.
Unlike China and Bhutan, India does not have a claim on Doklam. However, India supports Bhutan’s claim on the territory. India and Bhutan voluntarily still maintain very strong comprehensive ties. Bhutan has no diplomatic ties with China.
There had been a series of violent border incidents after the 1959 Tibetan uprising, when India had granted asylum to the Dalai Lama.
Relations between contemporary China and India have been characterised by border disputes, resulting in three military conflicts — the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Chola incident in 1967, and the 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish.
A disputed Himalayan border was the main pretext for war between China and India that occurred in 1962.
After four days of fierce fighting, three regiments of Chinese troops succeeded in securing a substantial portion of the disputed territory. But soon afterwards the former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai declared a unilateral ceasefire to end the conflict.
Western nations at the time viewed China as an aggressor during the China–India border war, and the war was part of a monolithic communist objective for a world dictatorship of the proletariat.
Despite growing economic and strategic ties, Indian media outlets have repeatedly reported Chinese military incursions into Indian territory, while China says the opposite.
About the recent Doklam standoff, a New York Times article cited Colonel Ren Guoqiang, a spokesman for the Chinese Defense Ministry as saying that “India must dispel any illusions that it can hold out for a change….no country should underestimate the confidence and ability of the Chinese military to fulfill its duty of defending peace.”
The Chinese military has always labelled themselves as a force representing justice and honor, which to the eyes of its neighbors shows only the arrogance of a butcher.
On 19 July 2017 China renewed its call for India to withdraw its troops from Doklam. It followed reports that claimed China held live firing drills in the region.
China is preparing to initiate a ‘limited war’ to push the Indian soldiers out of the disputed Doklam area, an article published in China’s state newspaper Global Times has claimed.
An article by the Global Times, a hawkish Chinese government mouthpiece, said two days ago that “If a war spreads, the PLA is perfectly capable of annihilating all Indian troops in the border region”.
It said the Modi government was violating international laws and was putting India’s national honour and peaceful continuation of progress in jeopardy.
But it might be “A truth-bomb for Beijing that neither Asia nor the world revolves around China”, as the author of this article points out:
There is “a bright line drawn from empire to republic. “ as China scholar Mark Elliot notes. Thus, an imagined history is put forward to legitimize China’s claim to Asian hegemony, and remarkably, much of this contrived history is increasingly considered as self-evident in western and even Indian discourse. Little in history supports the proposition that China was the center of the Asian universe, commanding deference among less civilized states around its periphery. China’s contemporary rise is remarkable, but does not entitle the nation to claim a fictitious centrality bestowed upon it by history.
“The One Belt One Road initiative also seeks to promote the notion that China through most of its history was the hub for trade and transportation routes radiating across Central Asia to Europe and across the seas to Southeast Asia, maritime Europe and even the eastern coast of Africa.”
Historically for two thousand years, Chinese dynasties and emperors have respected India and been very thankful for Buddhism that has helped shaped the core of Chinese culture, values and ideology.
Xuanzang’s journey along the so-called Silk Road in the Tang Dynasty, and the legends that grew up around it, inspired the Ming novel Journey to the West, one of the great classics of Chinese literature.
India has long been honoured as a great teacher of the Chinese, and any act of a student against his teacher is treachery. The Chinese Communist Party has destroyed the country’s traditional culture and made its people long forget such great teachers as Bodhidharma and the Buddha. Any Chinese with a good heart won’t start a fight against a teacher.
Money talks, the strength of muscle might talk too, but not always, not for a good cause.
Minister of External Affairs of India Sushma Swaraj will visit Nepal next week for the BIMSTEC meeting. Both the Indian Nepal and Chinese people long for peace though it is hard earned.
As Professor Zhang Li, an expert on India t Sichuan University in southwest China, says to the New York Times, “the risks of military conflict between China and India were slim, but worrisome, and the dispute could be a drag on ties for a long time.”
China has no good reasons at all to go to war with India, never.
By Cloudy Seagail