The prolonged standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Doklam—an area contested between Bhutan and China—has come to an end. According to a statement released on Monday by the Indian ministry of external affairs, both sides have agreed to “expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site”.
The Chinese side, though, has chosen to give it a different spin. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson has tried to portray the mutual disengagement as a unilateral withdrawal by India. In addition, the spokesperson is maintaining that China will continue to patrol the Doklam area. What was left unsaid was whether China will continue with road construction in the disputed territory.
It was the construction of a road—and the permanent presence that it bestows—that had triggered the stand-off. In contrast, Chinese and Bhutanese soldiers had been patrolling the contested areas earlier as well. Since China had backed itself into a corner with fiery rhetoric, the spin is understandable to present a resolute image before the domestic audience.