Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval quietly travelled to Bhutan earlier this month where they held extensive talks with the Bhutanese leadership on key strategic issues including the situation in Doklam and the Chinese building defence infrastructure around the plateau, authoritative government sources said.
Recently, the Ministry for Defence ordered the immediate un-installation of 40 Chinese applications being used by the Armed forces posted along the border. This issue once again gains significance considering the fresh developments at Doklam as reports suggest that the Chinese have returned and built permanent structures.
A month after India and China ended the tense Doklam standoff, the latter continues to maintain a sizeable presence of its troops near the site. India has reason to be concerned since China has been gradually increasing its troop level at Doklam. They said an existing road is also being strengthened in the Doklam plateau, adding the road is at a distance of around 12 kms from the earlier face-off site.
A month after the Doklam standoff was resolved, China defended its presence in the area. The Chinese say that its soldiers are patrolling the region, also claimed by Bhutan, to exercise Beijing’s sovereignty.
Despite resolving the Doklam standoff, the Armies of India and China did not hold the traditional border personnel meeting at the five designated places along the 4,057 km long Line of Actual Control.
China has said that it clearly unhappy with those who have been demanding military action against India, post the Doklam standoff. A major general of the People’s Liberation Army said that anti-India commentators do not have a “clear understanding of China’s strategic positioning”.
China’s defence ministry has rubbished reports that India entered into a truce on the Doklam standoff after it was promised a lona of 20 billion US dollars. The social media was abuzz with news that China had offered India a loan as a result of which it calmed tempers at Doklam.
It is pure fabrication, China’s defence ministry said while replying to a question. Defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang, replying to a question, said, “On your question about China providing loans to India to withdraw troops, we have checked with the relevant authorities of the government and such reports are pure fabrication.”
When India negotiated with China on the Doklam standoff, it began on a position of strength. China went on a rhetoric, but India asserted during the back channel talks that it would talk peace, but not at the risk of compromising. While the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval opened up the first round of talks with China, a major role was played by the Indian Army which gave India an upper hand to assert its stance.
Does every disputed territory become China’s? This was the retort by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval when he discussed the Doklam standoff with China’s state councillor Yang Jeichi.
In its first editorial since the resolution to the Doklam standoff, the Global Times suggested that the issue had exposed Beijing’s ability to deter unexpected provocations.
The editorial stated that China needs to enhance “deterrence” against external provocations such as the Doklam standoff with India. The editorial also called on China’s leaders to evolve a grand national plan to prevent external forces from harming its internal security. This will add costs to China’s safeguarding of its national security, so enhancing deterrence needs to be one of our grand national plans.”