Standoff between armies of India and China near Doklam area where Chinese territory butts between Sikkim and Bhutan has created tension in the region and poses a threat to peace. Indian Govt. claims that China is trying to build and extend a road in Doklam area which poses a threat to the security in the region and in particular to chicken neck or Siliguri corridor which links Indian mainland with north-eastern states. Chinese Govt. is claiming that Indian troops have crossed the border and obstructed its activities in Chinese territory. From various accounts reported in the media, Indian troops have entered territory under Chinese control so as to prevent China from building infrastructure in the region which according to Indian Govt. is altering the status quo. Indian Govt. claims to be acting in support of Bhutan. Chinese Govt. and media are saying that there would be no talks with India unless Indian troops withdraw from the area.
Indian Govt. has given differing accounts of the stand-off. Foreign Secretary Mr. Jaishankar and Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mr. Bagley have expressed hope that the issue would be resolved through dialogue. It is also reported that NSA, Mr. Ajit Dobal is travelling to Beijing on the occasion of meeting of NSAs of BRICS countries where he is expected to discuss the issue. On the other hand, Indian Govt. and sections of media are whipping up nationalist frenzy. Stand-off with China is being used to cater to ‘nationalist’ rhetoric of RSS-BJP which is aimed at diverting people’s attention from the anti-people policies being pushed by Modi Govt. including people’s protests against recently introduced GST and peasants’ struggles going in different parts of the country. In a way this is an extension of the domestic agenda being pursued by Modi Govt.
It is clear that there is no military solution to the border disputes India has inherited from the colonial masters. Nor such a course is in the interest of people of India and China. Whatever the rhetoric from both sides relating to 1962 India-China war, there is no way the boundary disputes can be settled militarily. Both China and India are big military powers armed with nuclear weapons and such rhetoric with eye to short term gains must be avoided. India and China must settle their boundary disputes peacefully through bilateral dialogue.
CPI(ML)-New Democracy expressed its deep concern at the situation of stand-off. Both India and China should start immediate dialogue and restore status quo to facilitate such a dialogue. China and India must display utmost sensitivity to the situation on the border and to mutual concerns without resorting to jingoist propaganda. People of the country should also demand that peace on the border should not be disturbed and should not fall prey to jingoism.
July 14, 2017