Published: Wed, July 12, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

Border Standoff: Why Bhutan Will Not Ditch India

Border Standoff: Why Bhutan Will Not Ditch India

Earlier, India's army chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat, had noted, "Even the prime minister has stated for the last 40 years, not even a single bullet has been fired on the Indo-China border".

Noteworthy, at present, China and India have been engaged in the standoff in the Doklam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for the past three weeks after a Chinese Army's construction party attempted to build a road. A nationalist tabloid, it said India "should be taught a bitter lesson" and warned that if the confrontation escalates, India will suffer "greater losses" than those of the 1962 war. "But the fact is that today, India-China relations are really multi-faceted". "The Indian government has rolled out aggressive reforms aimed at unifying the country's market, which is very attractive in the eyes of global investors, even though there are huge challenges such as poor infrastructure and difficulties in policy implementation across different states", the editorial said.

Jaishankar referred to the June meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Astana at the SCO Summit.

The fresh matter came to fore at a time when China has increased pressure on India to withdraw its troops from the Dokalam region as a precondition for any talks to resolve border issues between the two sides.

According to news agency PTI, the deployment of Indian soldiers in the disputed area is an indication that they are unlikely to retreat unless there was reciprocity from China's PLA personnel in ending the face-off at an altitude of around 10,000 feet in the Sikkim section. This has been evident from the long-held Chinese view that the demarcation of the Sino-Indian boundary in the western sector (Ladakh) would not be an independent exercise but would follow the settlement of the India-Pakistan conundrum in Kashmir. This has undermined the political basis for bilateral relations.

Global stocks mixed ahead of Yellen testimony
Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.5 percent to $15.55 per ounce, while palladium rose 0.3 percent to $842.25 per ounce. Stainless steel ingredient nickel, however, gained after Chinese steel prices reached their highest in 3-1/2 years.

Adding to the strains, Beijing seems ever more determined to declare who the next Tibetan spiritual leader will be to succeed the Dalai Lama - who turned 82 Friday. Negotiations on the long-standing boundary dispute also still continue. But India may overestimate the influence of Tibetan exiles.

If Chinese troops move further, they will be capable of cutting off the 165km road from Bhutan's capital Thimphu to Phuentsholing, the city from where all imports from India, including food, enter from.

It is not possible to verify how many troops either side has massed.

Jaishankar said that the "big debate" is about the opportunities and risks that emanate from this twin rise.

India's "bloated self-assertiveness" made it infringe on China's sovereignty and New Delhi had levelled false allegations and accusations against Beijing to serve its hegemonic ambitions, a stinging commentary from the official Chinese media said on Monday evening.

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