Doklam Plateau Face-off: China’s moves towards realism.

china eyeing chumbi valley

I am sharing my comments on dated July 4, 2017. This was titled    ‘India will suffer worst losses than 1962 if it invited border clash’. The media reports used this editorial to air fancy headlines, and imagine scary scenarios to get maximum attention.

       India and China are both looking towards growth and development of their countries, for well being of their people. Distractions like this face-off, are a not good for either. The provocative and intimidating statements as mentioned in this editorial can not help resolving the stand off at Doklam Plateau. India of 2017, like China, is also looking for peaceful resolution, and can not be bullied by impractical threats from operationally inexperienced forces. These can neither deter India, nor are in the interest of either, except for catchy headlines of media looking for TRP, some dreaming think tanks, and “so called experts” who have never seen border/LAC, and don’t understand what suggesting the ‘military way’ or ‘kicking out’ means (Refer Editorial, URL attached)to a well determined military like Indian Army, and the two nuclear powers.

At macro level one lesson comes out loud and clear that China and India must finalise, demarcate, and disseminate the exact alignment of LAC, up to the troops manning the border, as soon as possible. If this issue is pended further there will be frequent face-offs because of different perceptions of LAC.

To resolve the current face-off, diplomatic talks should commence forthwith. In case either side doesn’t want to be looking compromising to its people, Track2/informal talks can begin as a face saving measure, followed by a formal talks. Any precondition laid down by either side, is likely to be resented, and can make the situation worse.

General Asthana


The stance and language of global times has now undergone a change towards realism on July 07, 2017. Sharing the next editorial of Global Times URL-  of  today  (July 7,2017). titled ‘China can rethink stance on Sikkim, Bhutan’. In this editorial China is playing victim and highlighting Indian hegemony, an argument unlikely to be bought by anyone. As per media reports, The controversy of China claiming that they called off Modi-Xi Jinping talk at G-20, has already been refuted by MEA, claiming that they never asked for one, indicates that war of words is likely to continue. Similarly the media highlighting deployment of PLA Naval assets or High altitude exercises is an unnecessary sensitisation, as Indian surveillance system and deployment of its naval assets in Indian Ocean, and Indian preparations in affected borders need to be believed, without being advertised. The Malabar exercise is making China nervous, hence his meager show of force in comparison of this exercise is a inescapable reaction. Bhutan standing up to China, not attending BRF, and India stepping in as reliable partner and net security provider is making China comfortable.

To resolve the current face-off I would suggest:

  • The diplomatic interactions should start immediately setting aside hard stands, war of words, and rhetoric’s.
  • Chinese should stop construction of road immediately, honoring sovereignty of Bhutan and Trilateral agreements.
  • Once status quo is achieved, military of both sides should pull back to pre standoff positions. The sequence can be worked out by the diplomats.
  • Mansarovar Yatra can be resumed thereafter.

General Asthana

The views expressed are the author’s personnel views and do not reflect the views of any organisation

The author, who is Chief Instructor, USI of India, is on Facebook, linkedin, Twitter, WordPress and Google+ as Shashi Asthana)


3 thoughts on “Doklam Plateau Face-off: China’s moves towards realism.

  1. I repeat my comments offered on the subject elsewhere:

    The Chinese reaction is an outcome of the frustration generated by:
    a) India not falling in line in respect of CPEC, b) recent highly productive visits of PM Modi to US and more so to Israel, c) success of India’s strategic initiatives in Southeast Asia & connected maritime domains, d) Indian economic boom and the consequent trade and commerce initiatives, particularly in the defence sector, e) success of India in the space and missile fields. g) India treating China on equal footings, f) Na Mo getting stronger by the day, g) the daily nagging by a demanding spouse (No names).

    Naturally, for a Dictatorial Establishment all this is much too much to digest. Add to this the fact that the world community now is more aware of the ‘shifting goal post’ doctrine of the Dragon nation.

    Guess, the cauldron shall remain on the boil for some time.


  2. The Doklam standoff, is yet another example of Chinese tactics of, first creating a dispute based on vague and one sided reasoning, and then ensuring that it remains a complicated issue to be raked as and when it feels opportune to leverage these in tandem with its military, economic and diplomatic might. The issue may be kept in limbo, to be brought into limelight in a very well orchestrated mix of – sudden incursion of its troops (while maintaining that the same is in retaliation to opposing party’s actions/claims), shrill propaganda (depicting itself as the victim) bordering on unveiled threats and then engaging in no holds barred blame game. All this may carry on till the immediate objectives (which may be either or combination of political and economic reasons or just to maintain its hegemonic threat intact).
    To be continued…………..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can not agree with you more. My take: India alone is not the only victim of this slimy dragon -like policy. However India is the answer to this trick which is 3-pronged; a) display courage with patience, just like an astute boxer b) speak less but firmly polite c) keep your powder dry and friends (co-sufferers I meant) informed and motivated.


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