Bhutan asks China to withdraw from Doklam as India stands firm to oppose the aggression

June 30, 2017 7:09 pm2 commentsViews: 4047
The international border at Nathu La Pass, in Sikkim. (Photo courtesy: hindustantimes)

The international border at Nathu La Pass, in Sikkim. (Photo courtesy: hindustantimes)

(TibetanReview.net, Jun30, 2017) – It has been revealed that the ongoing border standoff between China and India, which began in early June, is over a piece of territory which has been under the jurisdiction of neither of the two countries but Bhutan. This piece of territory, a 269-square-km area in the Chumbi valley, sits between Sikkim and Bhutan and China has been laying claim to it as a part of Tibet under its occupation rule, much like its claim over the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Sources confirmed that the standoff with China is in Bhutan’s territory and in an area controlled by Thimphu but coveted by Beijing, reported tribuneindia.com Jun 28. The area in question is called Donglang region by China, Doklam Plateau by Bhutan and Doka La by India. The plateau extends to the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction at the southern tip of Chumbi valley.Map

Bhutan and China have held 24 rounds of talks over it since 1984 but failed to resolve it. China was reported to have also exerted pressure on Thimphu by saying it would not agree to a border deal until it allowed the opening of a Chinese diplomatic mission in the country.

Meanwhile, Bhutan’s ambassador to New Delhi, Vetsop Namgyel, said Jun 28 that his government had issued a demarche to China over the construction of a road towards its Army camp in Zomplri area of Doklam and asked Beijing to restore the status quo by stopping the work immediately.

“Doklam is a disputed territory and Bhutan has a written agreement with China that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, peace and tranquillity should be maintained in the area,” India’s PTI news agency Jun 28 quoted Namgyel as saying.

In 1960, China’s leadership sparked panic in Bhutan by asserting, in a statement, that the “Bhutanese, Sikkimese and Ladakhis form a united family in Tibet. They have always been subject to Tibet and to the great motherland of China”. Then, in 1966, Tibetan nomads entered the pastures of the Doklam plateau, escorted by People’s Liberation Army guards, provoking fears of an attempt to occupy the territory, noted an Indian Express newspaper report Jun 29.

It continued that in 1988, things came to a head when the PLA crossed into Bhutan and took control of the Chumbi Valley, below the Doklam plateau. In the years since, PLA troops have been reported to have regularly threatened Royal Bhutan Army guards on the plateau, and sometimes occupying their posts for several hours or even days.

* * *

India intervened when China began building the road in the territory not only because of its friendship with and security commitment to Bhutan but also because of the Chinese design’s adverse strategic implications for it. Lying east of Sikkim, it has a commanding view of the Chumbi valley (largely held by China) and overlooks the narrow Siliguri Corridor that links the North-East to the rest of India, the report said.

So, by gaining control of Donglang, China gets the ability to essentially cut off India’s access to its North-eastern states in case of a conflict.

China has accused India of having a hidden agenda of “meddling” in Bhutan’s internal affairs. Its Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said there was no dispute about Donglong “which belonged to China, and not to India or Bhutan”. Lu denounced what he called third-party attempts to complicate the situation, noting that some foreign reports had been hyping-up Doklam, the area where the standoff took place, as a disputed region between China and Bhutan.

“Doklam has been part of China since ancient times…. China’s construction of road in Doklam is an act of sovereignty on its own territory,” China’s communist party mouthpiece People’s Daily Online (en.people.cn) Jun 29 quoted Lu as saying. He has said any third-party interference is a disrespectful gesture to Bhutan’s sovereignty.

China earlier demanded that India immediately withdraw its border troops that had crossed the boundary and conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. Doklam is located several dozen kilometres of mountain terrain away from Sikkim.

* * *

China also issued a series of warnings and threats against India. Its state-run Global Times newspaper said Jun 28 that India needed to be taught the rules of the game in handing border disputes. “India cannot afford a showdown with China on border issues. It lags far behind China in terms of national strength and the so-called strategic support for it from the US is superficial,” the paper said.

China’s foreign ministry also said Jun 28 that re-opening of the Nathu-la pass which allows officially-organized Indian pilgrims to enter Tibet depended on whether the Indian side could correct its mistakes in time. The pilgrims, destine for Mt Kailash and Lake Manasarovar in western Tibet, were to leave the border post of Nathu-la in Sikkim’s border on Jun 23 but were prevented by the Chinese side. Some 300 pilgrims are to travel by this route this year, with the initial batch consisting of 47 devotees.

Lu has said China had clearly informed India that suspending the arrangement was “an emergency measure to the changed situation in the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary caused by Indian border troops’ illegal entry”. He has said the pilgrimage route was unlikely to be reopened if the Indian side could not correct its mistake in a timely manner.

The Chinese side has also reacted to the Indian obstruction to its road building effort by bulldozing two Indian bunkers.

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2 Comments

  • Hi! Namaste To All! Please have a Facebook Page also so that you can have a further reach. Thank you.
    Tibetans should understand that autonomy within China they will never get and that they (Tibetans) should actually be occupying China rather than the other way round. I have said somewhere much earlier that “China is Northern Tibet”, if you look historically. In fact I propose to the world, through your publication, that we must all now move towards a system where Tibet becomes a part of India (yes, please don’t be shocked) because that would be the historical correction (or whatever you call it). So all Tibetans gear up, all Indians gear up – to go for a possible long war after which China is quashed, Tibet is released from China and becomes autonomous within India (just like any other self respecting Indian State like Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka etc.)
    Ancient Bharat Varsha extended into today’s Tibet. This China happened much later, and then usurped Tibet. Let us all move towards showing China where it belongs. :-) Thanks.

  • Except for as a long time known bully, what is the status of China in world affairs ? Like all bullies every where, every now and then China fabricates and digs out old self prepared maps, old agreements, and old pacts even when this China was not even borned or even remotely existed. Otherwise, against this concept, one time, not very long back, all of Sri Lanka, Burma, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan were parts of India, should India also start staking claims on all of these countries, and terroritories ? Unlike South China sea, much bigger ocean is named exclusively as Indian Ocean, must China be insisted to seek permission from India to ferry their ships in this sea. But China is even checking the periphery countries of South China sea even to explore natural resources in their own countries or meritime aeas belonging to them.

    But no, China forcibly insists for all of the above as its birth right powers, keeps starting disputes, theatening, even taking militay actions, against all of long time forgotten maps, agreements, pacts, and on above fabricated basis, initiates claims, when even forefathers of present rulers were not borned.

    Even apart, every time from long past history cited by China, what is the status of the present China, which is only a traitors and terrorists who threw out lawful Chiang Kai Sheik and forced him to abdication in 1949 to flee to another province of China, Formosa, now called Taiwan. Present rulers of mainland China are illegal occupants and for these reasons, this China was not recognised any where in the world, even UNO did not recognise this China as late as 1971, when Nixon, in his blunderst of blunders, recognised China, and also got China admitted to Security Council. Even otherwise, US is still committed to Taiwan against all foreign agressions from any where including China.

    Ever since, 1971, China has grown feathers, and started stalking

    territorial claims all around against its neighbours, and with economic power, it developed military powers much beyond its needs towards defense, rather much more as required for all of the offensive intentions, and which is evident when all of China neighours have been dragged in disputes created by China against long forgotten, hundreds of years old all invalid agreements, and cooked up maps, all through bully and military powers with bullish threats, and miitary actions. Just wait a few more years, China will stake claim even in distant islands of US, or later even fabricate maps and agreements and pacts and stake claims on New York and many other states of USA as one time areas of China, and through bullish powers, even start some military action.

    Most countries have started realising the outright aggressive bullish conduct and actions of China, and time has come for all countries must get together to check China’s wild expensionist intentions and actions, so that the rest of countries, much more its neighbours can heave a sigh of relief and see that China does not dare to raise any claim anywhere against any agreement earlier than 1979 In fact, all these aggressiveness came out once China was admitted to UNO and SC, and due to immoral and aggressive conducts, UNO must ponders seriously the matter of China continuing in civilised society of world countries, and be thrown out unless it withdraws all of its territorial claims, and territories forcibly occupied after 1949, and UNO must start and enforce commercial, trade, social, travel, and every sanctions against China, to teach it a lesson how not to behave amongst civilised society.

    It is shocking that China already with World’s largest population, and second largest land area, China still keeps on to generate disputes with all of its close and distant neighbors, including in South China sea, being claimed as China’s exclusive property, creating military bases. China has created otherwise long time feudal times that, for no rhyme or reasons, every powerful country must annex its weak neighbours. The entire World community and UNO and SC must ponder gravely, and forcefully to check this China expansionist intentions and actions and it has become and looks necessary, even to throw out China from the civilised commity of UN and SC memberships. .

    Suraj Parkash
    9315879780

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