China

DOKLAM STAND-OFF : DRAGON LIES TO THE WORLD

23 Aug 2017/Wednesday

On August 1, Xi Jinping, presided over a grand function to celebrate the 90th founding anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army, PLA, being the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President of the People’s Republic of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission. From the rostrum he reaffirmed that, 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 from the country at any time, in any form. He also urged PLA to focus their thoughts and work towards combat to make PLA move forward and transform into an elite and powerful force to ensure win. This might be directed towards India as the standoff continues on the ridge near the tri-junction of Tibet-Bhutan and Sikkim.

 

Viewpoint:

On 22nd July, a book published by an American author Ben Keiler, titled “Spying against India” (Chinese Military Intelligence from 1962 to 2012) Volume 1 reveals important details which are in total contrast to the contentions made by the Chinese in the ongoing Doklam standoff. Few excerpts from the book are given as under: –

  • Doc 70 in the book reveals that China could see the deployment of Bhutanese and Indian army units in western Bhutan in 1987.

  • The first battalion of the Bhutanese army defended the area close to the border with Sikkim.

  • In that location they made sure that the Chinese army could not take any shortcut through Bhutanese territory and cut-off and encircle the Indian border defence in the northern areas of Sikkim.

  • The 2nd, 3rd  and 5th battalions were positioned to defend the area between Yatung and the capital Thimphu.

  • The 6th battalion serves as reserve force and could be deployed in any direction.

  • The Indian troops were intermixed with the Royal Army of Bhutan to strengthen the defence and to make sure the Chinese army could not enter any area of Bhutan without fighting the Indian Army.

  • This mix makes sure the Chinese cannot only target the Bhutanese army and grab more land without killing Indian soldiers.

The above details and supporting maps given out in the book clearly bring out the fact that the Chinese were always aware of the Bhutanese and Indian army presence in Doklam area.  Therefore, the present logjam smells of a more complicated game, mainly China’s insecurities related to the recent US-India defence pacts and other eco-partnerships. Hence, this appears to be a far cry from China , trying to draw India’s attention towards itself.

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