Withdraw troops, then talk

Withdraw troops, then talk
India will have to withdraw all its troops from the disputed border before China agrees to any “meaningful” dialogue with the nation. The border stand-off between both nations has escalated in the recent days. In June 2017, a skirmish broke out between Indian and Chinese troops at the Doklam plateau. Indian soldiers..

India will have to withdraw all its troops from the disputed border before China agrees to any “meaningful” dialogue with the nation.

The border stand-off between both nations has escalated in the recent days.

Background

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.

There are about 300 soldiers region right now, a per information released by Indian authorities. India has called for the withdrawal of troops from both sides. India has said that China’s actions in Doklam directly threatened it’s interests and that was the cause for intervention.

India’s External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj noted, “We are involved in a tri-junction this time and it's directly related to us, if China will change that...that is threat to our security. All countries are supporting us on this issue.”

Analysis

India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is currently in China for a BRICS security summit. China has announced that any conversation he has with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on this matter will hold little value.

Lu Kang, a spokesperson for the Chinese defense ministry ruled out the possibility of a resolution presently. He said, “The crux now is Indian border troops illegally stayed on China’s territory. Once again, we urge India to pull back to the Indian side of the boundary. I want to stress that this is the precondition for any meaningful talks between the two sides.”

China has signaled that it would not rule out military conflict if India does not stand down. India, meanwhile, has maintained its status-quo.

One of the most emphatic statements by Chinese authorities came from its Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian. He warned India not to harbor any illusions over China’s resolve to defend itself. He elaborated that China would protect its borders at “all costs.”  In a veiled threat, he told India not to “push its luck.”

US has called on both countries to engage in direct dialogue to resolve the conflict.

Assessment

Our assessment is that it is important for India to be firm yet tactful in resolving this crisis. As we stated earlier, this is one of the few times that China has issued a warning in recent times that goes beyond posturing at the border. China would find it convenient not to have strong adversaries in Asia. To the Chinese, fructification of their OBOR project is part of their grand strategy. 

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