New Delhi: The standoff with China on the tri-junction in Bhutan near Sikkim border may well continue till winter, as India appears to be in no mood to budge from its position.
Strategic analysts feel that India is at an advantageous position and would not succumb to China’s strong- arm tactics.
India firmly believes that its position is legally tenable as according to 2005 Framework Settlement on Boundary Dispute, the two countries cannot change the status quo on the border.
There is Special Representative talks mechanism to resolve the boundary dispute and both sides have committed to maintain peace on the border till final resolution of the dispute.
Moreover, a 1998 agreement between China and Bhutan states, each side has to maintain status quo till territorial disputes between them is resolved.
President of Centre for China Analysis and Strategy Jayadeva Ranade says, ”When China came to Bhutan on June 1 and started constructing road, they did not expect that India will act strongly this time and they were caught off the guard.” India and Bhutan have been in close cooperation in matters of Defence.
He also pointed out that in 1958, late Prime Minister Jawarharlal Nehru had declared in Parliament that any aggression against Bhutan would be seen as aggression against India.
On the other hand, Bhutan has no diplomatic relations with China.
Doklam is a high ground, at which India and Bhutan are at an advantageous position.
Doka La is the Indian name for the region, which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.
”China wants to bully Bhutan out of this place and now, when they see India not abandoning its position, they are using their state media to send out a threatening message. It is no secret that the Global Times is run by the People’s daily. And now, they are waiting for who blinks the first,” adds Mr Ranade.
India shares 3,488 km-long border with China from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, of which a 220-km section falls in Sikkim.