Beware of the wrong lessons from Doklam4 min read 04 Sep 2017, 06:10 AM IST
The Doklam standoff needs to be seen for what it wasan indication of the steady deterioration in the ability of India and China to deal with such situations
The standoff between China and India in Doklam was resolved not a day too soon. The Union government did well both in agreeing to a sequenced withdrawal and in refusing to comment on what, if any, understanding had been reached with China on its plans to build a road in the area. By contrast, much of the commentary in our media has been rather bullish, presenting the outcome as a testimony to the government’s ability to stare down the Chinese. It is further claimed that the Chinese backed down because their verbal threats failed to work, because they were in a weaker military position in the area and because of wider political considerations, especially the upcoming BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit in China. The confident conclusion is that a combination of resolve and tough-minded diplomacy can prevent military standoffs with China from escalating.