Doklam is no successful diplomacy 

Modi and Xi Jinping
Image Credit : Reuters

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat was quick to praise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diplomacy for resolving Doklam stand off but the ground reality is that Indian forces retreated while the China reinforced its military buildup on the Tibetan plateau that includes  two regiments of PLA Type 96 battle tanks, artillery and troops.

Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a tense border stand-off for over two months at Doklam, near the Sikkim-Tibet-Bhutan tri-junction but on the afternoon of August 28, both China and India agreed for expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam. During the standoff, India moved offensive units close to the border while PLA deployed more than 12,000 soldiers, 150 tanks and artillery guns opposite Sikkim at Phari Dzong in Chumbi Valley during the 73-day counter the Indian security forces. Then Chinese foreign ministry, PLA and envoy to India lined up to warn New Delhi and asked their forces to withdraw from Doklam.

China’s Foreign Ministry has reiterated that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops would continue to defend Dong Lang, which is Chinese territory, and India should withdraw all its troops and equipment from there.

During the  standoff, PLA’s Tibet Military Command  conducted the 11-hour long live-fire exercises at an altitude of 5,000 meters on the plateau in Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, aimed at improving the combat capability on such locations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed men held diplomatic talks with Chinese officials to defuse the tensions so as to attend the BRICS summit.

But Bhagwat fails to understand that China also made bilateral economic ties with neighbors in South Asia  and its influence has grown many-fold in the region. China has adopted a tactical diplomacy of  expanding its sphere of influence with soft power by engaging with countries economically and terming it as an integrated and interlinked economic development which will reduce the conflicts that may arise out of the disputes, thereby displaying its broader approach for security.

India, meanwhile, has been employing diplomacy to reduce tensions created after Doklam face-off. The Chinese envoy to India Luo Zhaohui said that now is the time that India and China should “turn a new chapter” in ties and “dance together”.

Making an indirect reference to 73-day military standoff at the Doklam  plateau in Bhutan, Luo Zhaohui made a strong pitch for renewing India-China ties by using an idiom that both “India  and China should make one plus one eleven”.

Speaking at the 68th anniversary of founding of the People’s Republic of China, Zhaohui said, “We should turn the old page and start a new chapter with the same pace and same direction.”

The most important thing is that the achievements of any leader can be judged after a passage of four to five years into the diplomacy  likewise the people of India has concluded that former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s economic policies were better than the reforms of demonetisation and GST  by the present government.


By: Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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