India and China have announced that the military stand-off between the two nations in the Doklam plateau has been called off.
In June 2017, a skirmish broke out between Indian and Chinese troops at the Doklam plateau. Indian soldiers had intervened the construction work being conducted by China in the region. The area is a disputed territory between Bhutan (an Indian ally) and China. Following the fights, both sides have increased their military presence in the region. India argued that China’s actions in Doklam posed a security threat for the nation.
China had called on India to withdraw its troops but the latter did not acquiesce. India, for its part, has said that Chinese actions in the plateau is a direct security concern. India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced that India will engage in dialogue once both sides withdraw troops simultaneously.
Bhutan has maintained that the area in which China was conducting construction work was a disputed area.
The Indian government has withdrawn its troops and for now, China has withdrawn its road construction equipment and bulldozers. However, there is discrepancy in the statements that both countries issued. The Indian side has announced that this decision was taken after an agreement of mutual disengagement of troops. China, on the other hand, has parlayed this as a victory for its region by announcing that India had agreed to withdraw the troops. The nation added that it will be continuing border patrols in the region.
China’s Senior Colonel Wu Qian of the PLA and Defence Ministry said, “The Chinese military will remain vigilant and firmly defend its national territory and sovereignty following a military stand-off between China and India. Peace and stability along the China-India border concerns regional peace and stability and accords with the common interests of people on both sides of the border."
However, Wu Qian also issued a warning for India to “draw lessons.” He said, “We remind India to draw lessons from the stand-off, abide by established treaties and the basic principles of international law, and work together with China to safeguard peace and stability along the border and promote the healthy development of the two militaries.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in China to attend the BRIC Summit in September.
As we had predicted earlier, despite aggressive rhetoric from China, both nations called off the stand-off through diplomatic channels. Our assessment is that India realized that a military conflict with China would prove to be a risky gambit. However, it is possible that such stand-offs could occur in the future along the Indo-Sino border.