(TibetanReview.net, Aug30, 2017) – Unless intended to be nothing more than a face-saving propaganda blast, China appears to be making it plain that it does not intend to abide by the apparent terms on which it and India agreed on Aug 28 to end their tense standoff at Doklam in Bhutan near their common tri-junction border which had been on since Jun 16.
“We will make an overall assessment of the weather conditions and all related factors, and according to the actual circumstances complete construction plans for the Dong Lang (Doklam) area,” China’s official Xinhuanet news agency Aug 29 quoted the country’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying as saying at a daily news briefing.
She was also cited as saying that Chinese border troops were continuing their patrolling and defending the Dong Lang (Doklam) area, thereby, perhaps, suggesting that it had not withdrawn its troops.
India had said Aug 28 that an “expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site has been agreed to and is on-going”.
Indeed, withdrawal of troops from both the sides and to thereby restore the status quo ante was the stated resolute position of India before the reported deal was reached.
China, on the other hand, had insisted that withdrawal of Indian troops from what it insisted was its undisputed territory was the only requirement for the latter to save itself from the might of the Chinese armed forces.
It was China’s building of a road on the disputed Doklam Plateau which had led India to cross into the Bhutanese territory to stop the work both to defend its ally’s sovereignty and to stop the status quo from being changed. The road, if built, is seen as giving China easy access to the so-called chicken’s neck, a narrow strip of land which connects mainland India to its northeastern states.