Asian geopolitics has been at the forefront in recent times with China and India being the major players in the space of negotiations. The two countries were a highlight of the recently held 9th BRICS Summit at Chinese coastal city of Xiamen between September 3 and 5.
The talks at Xiamen looked difficult due to the hostility that Beijing and New Delhi had shown in the backdrop of the Doklam standoff. However, August 26 marked a landmark date for the Asian giants as it put an official end to the two and a half months long standoff in Bhutan between the two countries. 70 days of the Indo-China crisis ended a week before the BRICS summit when the Asian powers decided to join hands in diplomatic talks to end the crisis. Negotiations yielded results when India withdrew its troops from the Doklam region of Bhutan and China and ceased its road building activities in the border.
Given the importance of the BRICS’ card for China, it was not surprising that Beijing pulled back its activities ahead of the summit. China has always been an active member of BRICS. Shanghai’s primary role in the New Development Bank could be one of the major reasons for explaining the steps taken by Beijing for participating in international dialogue. Additionally, overt international support for India from the USA, UK and Japan meant a common message for Beijing.
As far as the Indian narrative is concerned, she withdrew her forces after the Chinese side stopped the construction at the valley in Bhutan. However, if the activities resume, India has option to do the same. New Delhi took the decision after Beijing initiated negotiations to settle the dispute. International support for India also paved the way for talks and negotiations and a stronghold in the global arena.
In the backdrop of the political crisis, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese premier Xi Jinping have agreed to bring in the spirit of the “Astana consensus” to which they had agreed upon earlier in June this year at the Kazakhstan capital. Upholding similar spirits at Xiamen, both countries have agreed to work towards consensus building in agreeing to prevent differences from turning into disputes.
Sources: Indian Express, Livemint
In a sudden change of tone from last week’s video, Chinese news agency Xinhua News has attempted a subtle description of the Doklam standoff involving India, Bhutan, and China as part of a series named ‘Talk India’.
In a one-minute-35-second video, a smartly dressed anchor proclaims that the Doklam issue shows a lack of “strategic trust” on the Indian side. An emphasis is then made on the symbiotic aspect of the Indo-Chinese relationship through their rich cultural histories, and how they both need to nurture a more “solid trust” between them. This reference is concluded by a blatant suggestion, “India must immediately and unconditionally withdraw all troops from Chinese territory”.
The concerned video is the second such product by the same news agency after it produced one titled ‘Seven Sins’ last week. In the latter, it was claimed that India broke the law by trespassing into China’s ‘undisputed territory’. It features a man with a turban and a fake beard – an apparent attempt at parodying a Sikh – speaking the way Indians are perceived to speak English.
This narrative runs contradictory to both India’s and Bhutan’s side of the story, according to which, China’s People’s Liberation Army violated the border and crossed into Bhutanese territory on the tri-junction of the three countries in the Sikkim sector.
The Chinese media has vigorously protested the Indian resistance on the border, wherein some 125 articles on the ‘Indian trespass’ have been written in August alone. These videos are merely latest among these protests.
Sources – Hindustan Times, Times of India
The stand-off between India and China over Doklam crisis has taken a new turn on Wednesday, despite diplomatic talks between National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi last week. The Chinese embassy in Delhi, in a very unusual instance, has issued a 15-page ‘non-paper,’ reiterating its claim over Dokhlam. A ‘non-paper’ is an informal statement used in diplomatic negotiations.
In the 15-page document, China cited a 2006 treaty between the two countries where both India and China agreed upon the boundary alignment mentioned in 1890 treaty between China And Great Britain. It also contains two pictures marking the demarcations through lines and arrows.
There has been no statement by the Indian officials over the documents yet. Since June 30, India has released any statement over the Doklam issue. China claims that Indian soldiers have illegally crossed India-China border on June 18 and settled camps in its territory. India had countered Chinese troops from constructing road by sending 270 soldiers last month. In almost a month, the troop size has increased to nearly 400 and China has constantly countered India’s stance.
On June 30, Ministry of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj made a short statement in the Parliament, stating the world leaders support India over Doklam crisis, which later refuted by a Chinese media.
News Source: Hindustan Times, Indian Express
Image Source: NDTV
“The Chinese people love peace. We will never seek aggression or expansion, but we have the confidence to defeat all invasions. We will never allow any people, organization or political party to split any part of Chinese territory out of the country at any time, in any form,” President Xi Jinping at the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the founding of People’s Liberation Army.
Speaking at the Great Hall of the People, Xi did not direct his message to any single country. However, with the standoff between India and China near the Sikkim sector, his comments become crucial.
The border clash ruptured over a disputed plateau which India calls Doklam and China recognizes as Donglang. The plateau, lying at a junction between China, Sikkim and Bhutan, is disputed between Beijing and Thimphu. India, being a close ally of the latter, deployed troops to obstruct China’s road project, which led to accusations on India for trespassing on Chinese soil. Officials say such transgressions are numerous, since both sides have varied perceptions of the Line of Actual Control.
Amidst the border face-off, there were no signs of strained ties at an event in New Delhi to mark the 90th anniversary of China’s army, which was attended by representatives from India, Bhutan and China.
Sources on both sides have suggested that talks are on to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff. Channels of communication are on as was seen by the participation of the Indian representative at the PLA event.
Sources: Reuters, NDTV