Amid deepening impasse with China on the Doklam standoff, India has decided on a calibrated strategy to explore all diplomatic options to defuse tensions with Asia’s most powerful economy and a rising power.
The government and opposition parties spoke in one voice on pursuing the diplomatic course to deescalate tensions and underlined the need for national unity to deal with an increasingly assertive China.
At a meeting hosted by Home Minister Rajnath Singh at his residence in New Delhi on July 14, the government briefed opposition leaders on its decision to send troops to stall the building of a strategic road through the Doklam plateau by Chinese troops in the Bhutanese territory and its options in dealing with China.
In a striking show of national unity, major opposition leaders like Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Yadav and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, both former defence ministers, backed the government’s position and strategy in dealing with China.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar briefed the opposition leaders and underlined that the government was acting with restraint in the face of provocative actions by China.
The relations between India and China plummeted to a new low after Indian troops intervened to halt the construction of a sensitive road in the Bhutanese territory by PLA troops nearly a month ago, which is seen by both India and Bhutan as an attempt by China to alter the status quo in the disputed territory.