I am sharing my comments on http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1054925.shtml 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.
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- http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1055088.shtml 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.
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)