Amidst media reports about China’s stepped-up activities in the Doklam plateau, India’s Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is currently on a visit to the country’s Northeastern states to review defence preparedness …Read More
After more than ten weeks of posturing and charged rhetoric during the face-off at Doklam plateau in Bhutan, India and China have signaled their intention to start afresh and improve their relationship. This was reflected in the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the margins of the BRICS summit in Xiamen on September 5, when they decided to take a forward looking approach to the bilateral relationship.
In an interview with Soumya Nair, former diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar talks about India’s options in dealing with a rising China and the course of India-China relationship, post-Doklam.Read More
Two days after mutual withdrawal of Indian and Chinese troops from Doklam, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has expressed hope that India will learn lessons from this incident and prevent …Read More
Diplomacy has prevailed over hysteria and war-mongering as India and China have agreed to an “expeditious” mutual withdrawal of troops at the Doklam plateau on the Sikkim border, ending an over two month standoff that was threatening to escalate into a military conflict.
The resolution of the Doklam standoff has set a positive tone for India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China to attend the 9th BRICS summit in the coastal city of Xiamen on September 3-5. Going forward, one can expect a constructive bilateral meeting between Mr Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the BRICS summit which could map the way ahead for shaping a positive narrative of India-China relations.
“…expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is on-going,” said India’s external affairs ministry in a terse statement on August 28.
This is, however, not a time for grandstanding as both India and China will emerge as winners if they are able to seize the Dolkam crisis as a precursor for initiating a sustained and multi-layered dialogue to take a long-view of their relationship to resolve other contentious issues that have clouded their relationship in recent years. In this regard, the Modi-Xi meeting in Xiamen will show the way forward for building a largely harmonious and cooperative relationship, without glossing over difficult issues that will continue to shadow this challenging relationship between the two Asian giants.
Japan’s unequivocal support for India’s stand on the Doklam crisis with China has come yet as another proof of the success of New Delhi’s diplomacy in getting its point across to other nations on the crucial issue, without getting provoked by the sound and fury in Beijing.
New Delhi’s calibrated approach is in stark contrast to China’s hasty steps and threatening noises that followed the Indian troops’ intervention to stop construction of a strategic road in Doklam which lies at the trijunction of India, China and Bhutan in the Sikkim sector, as the road would have made the PLA’s access easier to the ‘Chicken Neck’, the narrow strip of land that links India with its north-eastern states.
Signals emanating from the US also indicate that India’s behaviour was being appreciated as becoming of a mature power.
The explicit support of Japan, Asia’s second largest economy, is the first such expression of solidarity by an important Asian power for India in the wake of the Doklam stand-off. In the more than two months since the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops started on the Doklam plateau, “India’s restraint and smart diplomacy has elicited admiration and respect from major power centres, indicating growing international support for India’s position that sensitive issues like these should be resolved through dialogue, and not allowed to be hijacked by hysterical nationalist propaganda emanating from China’s state-controlled media outlets,” said Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief of India and World, a prestigious magazine on international affairs. “In situations like these, soft power matters as much as hard power,” he said. Read more…
Propaganda thrives in times of conflict, and in this ongoing battle of perceptions between India and China amid the weeks-long standoff at the Sikkim border, sections of China’s state-controlled media have launched a verbal blitzkrieg, accusing India of sinister motives and peddling the government’s line. The latest salvo from The Global Times, a notoriously hawkish nationalist tabloid, has a conspiratorial ring and blames the United States for interfering and benefiting from the India-China standoff.
“More than five weeks into the border standoff between China and India, some countries other than the two directly involved are trying to step in,” said the Global Times in a hard-hitting article, in an apparent reference to the US and Australia.
Titled “Instigating Sino-India confrontation won’t benefit US,” the article alluded to commentaries in the US media calling on Washington to provide to support India to “deter and counter” China and mobilise the world against Beijing. The article targeted Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for her remarks, during her recent visit to India, about resolving the Doka La issue peacefully. “Bishop intends to blur the nature of the face-off and shows disguised support for India.”
Ever since India sent its troops to prevent Chinese troops from building a road through the disputed Dokalam plateau along the Sikkim border over five weeks ago, the Global Times and other state-controlled media outfits have constantly reinforced the Chinese government’s spin about India trespassing into the Chinese territory, and has been relentlessly issuing threatening messages to India, warning of a repeat of the 1962 war in which China humiliated India and occupied large swathes of the Indian territory. Such propaganda blitz, however, hasn’t cut much ice in the international community, with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj telling parliament a few days ago that the world is with India in the wake of the Doka La stand-off.