Advertisements
//
you're reading...
Politics & Law

Do not forget Bhutan in the India-China border dispute


Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley met with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying in Thimphu, capital of Bhutan on 12 Aug 2012. (photo from China’s Foreign Ministry)

The Doklam standoff since 18 June 2017 is getting people worried that a small-scale but very damaging combat might take place as these observers focused on the clash between India and China without looking into the details about Bhutan.

The standoff began when around 270 Indian soldiers entered Doklam, a territory in dispute between China and Bhutan, when Chinese workers attempted to build a road section crossing this district.

In the light of New Delhi’s ‘no war no peace’ strategy of eventuality and Tokyo’s high profile support behind India in this issue, many analysts tend to think that a fight would be inevitable.

Finally, I found someone holds a view similar to mine. Bertil Lintner’s Asia Times article on August 21 has a remarkable insight at which I very much agreed:

“India’s reaction to the roadworks may have been exactly what the Chinese wanted. It appears that India was left with no choice but to walk right into a diplomatic trap. The move has made India appear as the belligerent party and at the same time caused concern in Bhutan where India’s military presence is a politically sensitive issue.”

Lintner’s article provides a precise and concise history of Bhutan’s relation with India as well as the recent extension of friendly hands by China to Bhutan. While almost all the news and opinions in the West on the standoff totally ignored Bhutan, they overlooked that “Bhutan is eager to lessen its dependence on India and show the world that is a truly independent nation. The Doklam dispute has therefore led to mixed reactions in Bhutan. The Bhutanese don’t want the Chinese so close to home, but India’s overt intervention could be viewed as reverting to the status of an Indian protectorate.”

I have no access to the happenings inside Bhutan as I do not know the languages there — Tibeto-Burman and Nepali. However, only a fool would neglect Bhutan’s role and weight in this standoff. Perhaps, the Modi government has gradually realized its dilemma, and on 21 August, Home Minister Rajnath Singh “said the deadlock between India and China will be resolved soon and expressed hope that China would also take positive steps in this regard”. However, he did not explain anything how the deadlock could be resolved. Next day, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying did not give a positive echo to Singh and instead simply reiterated the request for unconditional withdrawal of the Indian army.

The present mainstream proposal for a strategy of eventuality by the leading pundits in India would actually weaken the India-Bhutan relationship, and India’s enlisting of Japan and the United States into this matter would only make it worse.

The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.

Advertisements

About keith K C Hui

Keith K C Hui is a Chinese University of Hong Kong graduate major in Government and Public Administration and the author of "Helmsman Ruler: China's Pragmatic Version of Plato's Ideal Political Succession System In The Republic" (2013).

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisements

Type 407 Training Visas

Get An Australian Diploma

Learn How To Sell Real Estate To Chinese Buyers

Sell Your Real Estate To Chinese Investors

China Daily Mail

China Daily Mail is not affiliated in any way with The China Daily or the government of the People's Republic of China.

Enter your email address to receive an email each time an article is published, or join our RSS feed. 100% FREE.

Want to write for China Daily Mail?

Read "Contributor Guidelines" above to join our team of 68 contributors. Write news or opinion about issues in China, or post photos and video. Promote your own site.

Recent Posts

China Daily Mail Stories Have Been Featured In:

%d bloggers like this: