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Are China and India Headed to War?

09 Agosto 2017, 01:12 | Bibiana Flor

Illustration Ajit Ninan

Illustration Ajit Ninan

India has taken a very responsible role in respecting the worldwide boundaries in the wake of the standoff with China in the Doklam area of the Sikkim section, a former top United States diplomat has said.

The nature of Sikkim standoff is completely different and Doval had met Yang as State Councillor of China and not as the Special Representative for boundary negotiations with India, a Chinese diplomat said. "I don't think the current political situation will have an impact on the trade because whatever China exports, Indian trade is just a fraction of that", Indrajeet Dudile, co-founder and director, Sunshot Technologies, told indiaclimatedialogue.net.

But there has been no comeback since, except for China's mounting warnings of an escalation in the region, which it calls Donglang. China and India ought to sign a new boundary convention in their own names to replace the 1890 Convention.

Welcomed a visiting Indian media delegation, the Chinese Defence Ministry on Monday reinforced its position that Indian troops must leave the Doklam plateau to resolve the crisis in the Sikkim section of the India-China border.

"I think that Xi Jinping sees Prime Minister Modi as a leader who is willing to stand up for Indian interests and to work together with other countries in the region that are looking to impose constraints on China, and particularly the U.S. and Japan, and that's something, I think Beijing is anxious about", Bonnie S Glaser from Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) told PTI in an interview.

It has also warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to push India into a "reckless conflict" with China as People's Liberation Army, as the latter is sufficiently capable of annihilating Indian troops in the border region.

It is also evident from the way China has projected India as a "third party", having nothing to do with China's border dispute with Bhutan.

Notwithstanding repeated rhetoric by Chinese scholars and foreign ministry spokespersons, a flare-up on the ground is unlikely ahead of the Brics summit as it would be a blow to Beijing's image if any PLA action derails the Brics summit. He also explained that New Delhi must lead a coalition to pressurise China to vacate the land.

"There will be no happy ending for this confrontation", Indian foreign policy expert C. Raja Mohan wrote in the Indian Express newspaper, adding that India was unlikely to give in.

In an article published on August 7, Global Times said: "If New Delhi thinks that China will not take military action under any circumstances, then its analysis is not based on the principles of worldwide politics and military science".

The visit comes at a time when tensions between India and China have reached its peak with threats of a conflagration between the two has become louder from Beijing.

Noted commentator on worldwide affairs Meghnad Desai in an interview predicted that a war could break out within a month between India and China.

Border skirmishes were once a common occurrence along the 2,520-mile frontier zone, the most notable of which was the month-long Sino-Indian War of 1962. Modi prefers to keep External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines. The West has maneuvered itself into a weak position vis a vis China by fuelling its economic rise and forging deep trade and financial links with it that now inhibit any really strong response to Chinese muscle-flexing. The state media also continued the tirade against India.

India's army ran low-key exercises in the Ladakh sector of the western Himalayas, where previous disputes have flared, though it is thousands of miles distant from Doklam.



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