1. India China standoff over Bhutan Doklam region: Is a 1962-like war on the cards, as claimed by Chinese media?

India China standoff over Bhutan Doklam region: Is a 1962-like war on the cards, as claimed by Chinese media?

India-China Sikkim standoff: China is stepping up aggression against India - both by sending a submarine to the Indian Ocean and getting its media to indulge in warmongering.

By: | Updated: July 5, 2017 9:16 PM
India China Sikkim standoff, India China standoff, India China war India-China Sikkim standoff: Is the threat of an actual war, as claimed by Chinese experts, real? No, say Indian defence and foreign policy analysts. (Reuters file photo)

India-China Sikkim standoff: China is stepping up aggression against India – both by sending a submarine to the Indian Ocean and getting its media to indulge in warmongering. Should India be worried? Is the threat of an actual war, as claimed by Chinese experts, real? No, say Indian defence and foreign policy analysts. China is creating a lot of noise – but that’s all it is – noise – say experts. India should remain firm on its stand, but at the same time be extra careful of Chinese incursions in other parts, they advocate.

For the uninitiated, India and China have been involved in an almost month-long stand-off in Doklam plateau of Bhutan. The ongoing tensions relate to the construction of a road by China in Bhutan’s Doklam region. Bhutan had reportedly protested China’s action, and sought India’s help. Indian Army then moved to the area of construction, stopping Chinese activity. Experts are of the view that with the construction of this road, China hopes to spy on and isolate the Siliguri corridor, also known as the Chicken’s Neck. China has been hardening its stance on the issue – even going to the extent of asking India to learn from the consequences of the 1962 war. Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on his part has retorted by warning that the India of today is different from that of 1962. Amidst this ongoing war of words, China has also sent a submarine to the Indian Ocean. Today, state-run Global Times has said that China should teach India “a bitter lesson” if the latter “incites” military conflict.

1962-war like situation?

No, says Sreeram Chaulia, the author of Modi Doctrine: The Foreign Policy of India’s Prime Minister. “The threat of an actual war is zero. Right now, all that China is doing is making noises, whether by sending a submarine or with the help of an aggressive media. They (China) may keep reminding us of 1962, but the fact is that the situation is now completely different. Both India and China are nuclear powers and the latter cannot therefore risk a full-fledged war,” says Chaulia. “Also, it’s not as if the Chinese economy is booming, so in that sense the case for a war is weakened further,” he adds.

Also watch: The India-China Stand-off At Sikkim Border Explained In Graphics

Phunchok Stobdan, former Ambassador and a foreign policy expert believes that China is escalating the issue for better bargaining power. “Trump, Modi and Xi Jinping will meet during the G20 summit. A solution to this would be back-channel talks. I don’t see any real threat of a war. India should increasingly look to strengthen its borders, especially make sure that there is no incursion from Siliguri,” Stobdan tells FE Online.

According to Chaulia, there is little doubt that China is irked by the outcome of Modi’s US visit and is also seething from the fact that a small country like Bhutan should oppose the dragon. “India should continue to support Bhutan and simultaneously send China the signal that the history of 1962 can be ‘rewritten’ in today’s world,” he feels.

Who will blink first, China or India?

China, says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (Retd). “China will back down, they always do. The Indian Army is in Doklam on the request of the Bhutanese government. We will stay there as long as the Bhutanese government wants and we shouldn’t back down. Bhutan and China have been trying to come to a settlement on that area for over 20 years now, and China has unilaterally changed its position,” says Kanwal, a Distinguished Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). “Their (China’s) attempts to build a road in the Bhutan area must be stopped because once they claim control over that area, it gives them a launching pad for offensive operations in the Siliguri belt. So, it is in India’s interest to support Bhutan and China won’t be able to do much, just like in the past. They will be forced to back down,” Kanwal tells FE Online.

Also read: What is India China Sikkim border standoff?

Chaulia cautions against the consequences of this for India’s NSG bid. However, Chaulia too feels that India should send a strong signal to China. “So far, there has only been jostling between the two armies, nothing more than that. The situation at the LoC is far more serious with Pakistan regularly indulging in ceasefire violation. In case of the China, the maximum that will happen is that more incursions will take place in Arunachal and Ladakh,” Chaulia tells FE Online. “So, India has to be ready for that. Yet another thing that India should be ready for, apart from deep incursions, is that China will further harden its stance on NSG and Masood Azhar. China may also try to lure Bhutan with promise of aid in order to make India look foolish, but I think they have less leverage with Bhutan, so that may not happen,” he adds.

Also watch: Chinese Spy Ship in Indian Ocean Ahead of India-US-Japan Naval Drill

China is trying to bully India – something that India is not going to ignore – and a fact that would make China even more resentful. While backing off from Bhutan is not the solution for India, it should at the same time look to effectively increase defence preparedness and secure the over 4,000 km long LAC, feel experts.

  1. V
    Vince
    Jul 9, 2017 at 5:03 pm
    Former British colony, English speaking Indians... You are invading China... This is serious... Be careful... Even the US don't dare do this. You are either too brave or too foolish. The different people and races who are bullied by the Indian government. You will be freed very soon.
    Reply
    1. S
      Sandip Yadav
      Jul 20, 2017 at 11:04 am
      I guess Vince is very concerned over the rising India. India has never invaded any country..See China has many problems with their neighbor countries like Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea. In the Name Sake of Super Power China is excreting their pressure on Small countries which is not acceptable to any sovereign country. China should not dictate world which is right which is wrong. International case and verdict goes against china sometime back then they told we are not bound by International laws , for South China Sea Island build up they dont follow international law. when it comes to others, China dictate follow the international law. Laws cant be bend as per convenience of China. Please note that, We are no more former British Colony Now, we are independent state and growing. I guess, you might have lost your Job, due to India, and having job of Toilet cleaning In China.
      Reply
    2. V
      Vanan
      Jul 8, 2017 at 7:05 pm
      We should all boycott Chinese made goods (or cheap garbage products). That will cripple this Bully.
      Reply
      1. K
        Kushal Kumar
        Jul 7, 2017 at 5:36 pm
        This writer's article " 2017 - an opportune year for India with major worrisome concerns in February-March and August-September" were issued widely to Indian news media last year in October - November 2016. While covering August -September or near about in year 2017 for India , the alert prediction reads : " AUGUST-SEPTEMBER OR NEAR ABOUT LOOKS TO BE PRESENTING WAR OR BIG TERROR , COULD ALSO BE THROUGH SEA" . The security and defense developments in Sikkim in early July 2017 can be construed to be instance proving the alert right.
        Reply
        1. K
          Kevin
          Jul 6, 2017 at 11:20 pm
          Indians never know the truth. And you used to take what sounds ridiculous as your reasons. The truth is Indians crossed the boarder that agreed by both sides. A cross-boarder aggression is an aggressive action defined by common sense. If it is for any country to justify a cross border aggression with a feeling or judgement of "being threatened", there are no aggression in this world. If China is what you said, why did not China cross borders in excuse of feeling threatened. In other words, is it reasonable that I have right to break into your door because i feel you are threatening me? A race or nation is either misled or ignorant if they don't understand the truth above!
          Reply
          1. S
            Shubham
            Jul 7, 2017 at 12:05 am
            What are your views on how china is crossing the lines in south china sea or the way it is aggressive towards an. China is a bully they think no one can oppose there power in south asia but they will have to now face a new and better india which is not afraid of china. Even bhutan supports us on this issue . ADMIT IT NO ONE LIKES CHINA .
            Reply
            1. V
              Vince
              Jul 9, 2017 at 5:05 pm
              Surely you don't know the different between border and the public ocean. Strong nation doesn't need "so called like", that's what you former colony, english speaking country will never understand.
              1. 印度吃柠檬
                Aug 1, 2017 at 8:44 pm
                啊三别做梦了 看的懂中文吗? 看不懂吧 来爸爸教你! 在国土问题上中国不会让你一毫米知道了吗? 最后送你一句 我吃柠檬,你买吧 如果看不懂这段话 请来中国大街上随便一个人都能告诉你是什么意思的孩子!
              2. K
                Kavita
                Jul 7, 2017 at 4:14 pm
                Having access to a "free press" in a "democratic country" means knowing there are different sides to a story and that the truth is somewhere in between, Kevin. One thing is true: war is disastrous and wrong, and must be avoided at all costs. Another thing is true - both you in China and I in India tend do believe whatever you/I are TOLD to believe. If you read the other nation's version as well, as I have done, you realise the truth is in-between. So the best solution is for us to stop drawing conclusions ("Indians NEVER know the truth", and you always do?), using terms like "ridiculous", attacking each other and realise that WE ARE ALL BEING MANIPULATED BY PEOPLE WHO SEEK TO GAIN FROM WAR (includes weapons manufacturers, certain businesses, mercenaries, certain political factions, and so on). Historically, it has been the only reason for war. Those who gained from war have been the manipulators. Those who suffered are civilians like you and I, who believed those people.
                Reply
              3. J
                Jean Paridimal
                Jul 6, 2017 at 5:03 am
                So silly - declare first use of nuclear bombs. Go and sleep. Chinese will not niddle you.
                Reply
                1. D
                  Dinesh Sampat
                  Jul 5, 2017 at 7:29 pm
                  China's two primary goals have always been to seek, whenever, wherever, and however possible..... a. Land grabs and b. Money (Economy, Market Share and Technology) grabs And it will continue to do so which then gives it the hegemonic controls on a global scale. Self preparedness and confidence (including sound execution) on economic, military, security and strategy fronts are the only answers to such covert and over nefarious overtures..
                  Reply
                  1. K
                    Kevin
                    Jul 6, 2017 at 11:13 pm
                    Indians never know the truth. And you used to take what sounds ridiculous as your reasons. The truth is Indians crossed the boarder that agreed by both sides. A cross-boarder agression is an agressive action defined by common sense. If it is for any country to justify a cross border agression with a feeling or judgement of "being threatened", there are no agression in this world. If China is what you said, why did not China cross borders in excuse of feeling threatened. In other words, is it reasonable that I have right to break into your door because i feel you are threatening me? A race or nation is either misled or ignorant if they don't understand the truth above!
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      sourav ghosh
                      Aug 13, 2017 at 5:27 pm
                      It seems you know all the fact about it.so also know that China order tension to his neighbors country .the crossborder tension when Chinese military build a road in Bhutan and Chinese mutual area then Bhutan army called Indian army .as India sign security agreement to Bhutan.you should know that Chinese things are not longibity
                    2. K
                      Kevin
                      Jul 6, 2017 at 11:15 pm
                      Indians never know the truth. And you used to take what sounds ridiculous as your reasons. The truth is Indians crossed the boarder that agreed by both sides. A cross-boarder aggression is an agressive action defined by common sense. If it is for any country to justify a cross border aggression with a feeling or judgement of "being threatened", there are no aggression in this world. If China is what you said, why did not China cross borders in excuse of feeling threatened. In other words, is it reasonable that I have right to break into your door because i feel you are threatening me? A race or nation is either misled or ignorant if they don't understand the truth above!
                      Reply
                      1. K
                        Kavita
                        Jul 7, 2017 at 4:17 pm
                        Having access to a "free press" in a "democratic country" means knowing there are different sides to a story and that the truth is somewhere in-between, Kevin. One thing is true: war is disastrous and wrong, and must be avoided at all costs. Another thing is true - both you in China and I in India tend do believe whatever you/I are TOLD to believe. If you read the other nation's version as well, as I have done, you realise the truth is in-between. So the best solution is for us to stop drawing conclusions ("Indians NEVER know the truth", and you always do?), using terms like "ridiculous", attacking each other and realise that WE ARE ALL BEING MANIPULATED BY PEOPLE WHO SEEK TO GAIN FROM WAR (includes weapons manufacturers, certain businesses, mercenaries, certain political factions, and so on). Historically, it has been the only reason for war. Those who gained from war have been the manipulators. Those who suffered are civilians like you and I, who believed those people.
                    3. A
                      Akshay S
                      Jul 5, 2017 at 7:17 pm
                      China is a bully and bullies need to be shown their place.
                      Reply
                      1. K
                        Kevin
                        Jul 6, 2017 at 11:18 pm
                        Indians never know the truth. And you used to take what sounds ridiculous as your reasons. The truth is Indians crossed the boarder that agreed by both sides. A cross-boarder aggression is an aggressive action defined by common sense. If it is for any country to justify a cross border aggression with a feeling or judgement of "being threatened", there are no aggression in this world. If China is what you said, why did not China cross borders in excuse of feeling threatened. In other words, is it reasonable that I have right to break into your door because i feel you are threatening me? A race or nation is either misled or ignorant if they don't understand the truth above!
                        Reply
                        1. K
                          Kavita
                          Jul 7, 2017 at 4:19 pm
                          Kevin, this sort of name-calling and accusatory tone is EXACTLY what "they" want. The truth is in-between. It is not "ridiculous", as you claim. YOU DO NOT KNOW THE TRUTH. NOR DO I. Both you and I only know what we have read and are told, without even bothering to hear out the other side. Stop playing into the hands of those who want war!
                          1. K
                            Kavita
                            Jul 7, 2017 at 4:20 pm
                            Your version of the truth is rather different from everyone else's - it means the truth is probably somewhere in-between. You might have realised that if you had bothered to read both sides of the story, Kevin.
                          2. J
                            james
                            Aug 17, 2017 at 1:12 pm
                            india will not use the Nuclear, power as we are responsible nation more democratic more matured country , think the consequences near future. the core issue is our neighbour friend China expanding along with our border with one Road policy , its really serious threat india eastern states as LAC was under negotiation still not settled , as india learned from past history 1962 and 1967 and 1971 and 1973 wars with china and pakistan , india attacked by neigbours , india prepared well would like to safe guard and taking defensive corrective action in the chicken neck, area , very critical for india , as world knows we lost tibet kashmir(part), learned from mistake , we will defend and compromise also , as we requested for talk , and achieve win win.
                            Reply
                          3. K
                            Kanwaljit Singh
                            Jul 5, 2017 at 6:39 pm
                            Sir, We Indian are not ready for any big things and surprise, All of us are fighting here inside India against corruption in babu's, suicide's among Indian farmers, at ude of intellectuals toward nation, beside non of Indian political parties have guts to stand and can say, yes, I dare, since every party is looking for mileage and every Babu as well, nobody cares about India it is all bla bla...as we have seen in Indian movies as well .... even Business man are also in same boat they do not give a neon thinking about India, it is just business for them and rest is bla bla. business is flourishing with chinese help rather...you may check at any point we can speak of anything....which has really dumped many Indian production house in many areas....
                            Reply
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