doko la

  1. Faceoff and tensions between India and China started in a remote area near the trijunction of India-China-Bhutan after a scuffle broke out between personnel of the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army or PLA (name of Chinese army), after which Chinese troops damaged bunkers on the Indian side of the border.
  2. After the border incident, China cancelled the Mansarovar Yatra pilgrimage through the Nathu-la route.
  3. The incident is significant since the India-China boundary in Sikkim is not disputed and both sides have taken pride in not allowing border incidents to affect other aspects of the bilateral relationship.
  4. The incident took place in the Doko-La (or Donglong) tri-junction area, where India had earlier objected to the  road that China is building towards Bhutan. The Chinese claim that they were constructing the road within their territory, which led to jostling between the two sides and demolition of the bunker.
  5. The incident was also significant as it takes place in the Sikkim sector, where the border is settled. The earlier stand-offs between soldiers from the two sides have usually taken place in the western and eastern sectors, where the status of the boundary remains unresolved.
  6. Bhutan has also objected to Chinese construction in the area and as per official Bhutanese statements, the Chinese construction is not in keeping with the agreements between China and Bhutan [on resolution of their boundary].
  7. Currently, Bhutan does not have diplomatic relations with China, but maintains contacts with periodic visits by the Chinese ambassador based in Delhi.
  8. What could be hidden Chinese objective behind this sudden misadventure?
  9. The area of scuffle is close to Indian chicken neck region i.e.Siliguri corridor and therefore is strategically very important and China knows India would never compromise with it’s security.
  10. As a result, tensions in so far settled zone can be used as a tool to compel India to agree to Chinese One Belt One Road (OBOR) project.
  11. OBOR summit was recently held in May and India had boycotted it. Without India’s support success of OBOR can’t be assured.
  12. Therefore this misadventure must be aimed to compel India to agree on Chinese strategic and economic plans.
  13. India’s actions should not be same as it has been on the previous occasions. Rather a fierce opposition and strong military response is need of the hour so that the message goes down Chinese administration that India of 2017 is not same as that of India in 1962 and is totally capable to protect it’s interests!