It’s now over a month of the Doklam impasse between India and China. The tri-junction of Bhutan continues to remain tense, with China continuing to harbor an extremist stance. It has gone even so far as to say that there cannot be any chances of negotiations unless Indian troops withdraw from the region, and that its troops will not wait indefinitely.
Agreed that India has been calm and diplomatic so far in such standoffs but should we really continue along such ‘soft’ stance as many feel? This approach has its advantages in garnering international support and scaling down escalations….but for how long shall we continue to toe this line? In case of Doklam I fail to see if it can bear positive fruits for the nation’s democracy.
The basic foible in the ongoing standoff is that India feels this is because of a bilateral discord rather than as a trilateral pointer. Bhutan has largely been ignored by the Indian press, without appreciating that the Dragon’s hostility could be most likely be towards Bhutan rather than India!
Isn’t it more likely a case of China wanting to strain the perennial Bhutan-India cordial ties rather than confronting any one nation outright? I can only hope that the Bhutanese government can see through the political fabric of China so the ties between India and Bhutan could continue to flourish.
And that’s the reason I feel India must assume a hardline approach as far as the Doklam standoff is concerned. This is not to say an outright extremist, militarist approach to the situation, but rather assure that our neighbor Bhutan continues to appreciate the deep rooted ties it has had with India since decades.
Moreover, to Bhutan’s credit, it has been one of the few dependable friend nation since independence to India. We must vie not to let the recent political scenarios in South Asia destroy this relationship.