Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Doklam Standoff: Some Basic Facts

Yao Yunzhu
Retired Major General, Chinese People’s Liberation Army

US-CHINA FOCUS - Jul 31 , 2017

The standoff between Chinese and Indian soldiers on a remote Himalayan plateau entered well into its 2nd month. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesmen delivered one strong wording statement after another, calling for the withdrawal of the Indian troops and warning against miscalculations and unrealistic illusions of the Indian side. The Chinese Defense Ministry spokesmen stressed the resolution of the People’s liberation Army to defend China’s territory, and declared military measures in response to the recent developments. Such strong response from the Chinese government has been rare. The India government, on the other hand, seemed to take the standoff as one of the reoccurring border skirmishes and thought it would come to pass as time goes on. India's Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar commented in his lecture in Singapore on July 11 that India and China could manage their differences that had arisen from time to time over their contested border.
However, the strong response from the Chinese government indicates that there is something different, which is more provocative and intolerable than before.