A border stand-off between China and India has now entered its second month. Both sides have vowed to resolve the conflict diplomatically. But some are saying there’s “a chance of war.”
CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg takes a look at what caused the dispute.
One of the coldest spots in Asia continues to heat up, the Himalayan plateau of Doklam in an area China claims as its sovereign territory. It says Indian troops – who’ve now been there a month – are trespassing and need to retreat.
In mid-June, a Chinese construction firm – reinforced by a team of unarmed Chinese soldiers – had been building a road through the valley. It’s a road that China insists was being built peacefully when Indian soldiers moved in to block it. They were based next door in the Kingdom of Bhutan. The small nation also claims the territory and asked its neighbor India to intervene.
Since then, more troops have arrived. China says: there’ll be no dialogue until they all leave. India is standing its ground. But insists: the standoff will be resolved without any “muscle-flexing.”
More than 50 years ago, China and India fought a month-long war over another road. Recently, Arun Jaitley, India’s Defense Minister issued a rather ominous warning for China, saying: “The situation of 1962 was different. And India of 2017 is different.” That’s a reference, some say, to modern India’s nuclear arsenal. China has nukes, as well.
Officials from Delhi are scheduled to be in Beijing later this month for a meeting of the BRICS countries. The stand-off will likely be high on the agenda. Some experts predict it may simply carry on until the winter, when winter weather will force everyone to go home.
This ongoing incident highlights the sticky relations between Asia’s two giant powerhouses. Together, they account for nearly 40 percent of the world’s population, and share nearly four- thousand kilometers of unmanned border. Both sides know: this could be just a small flare-up or perhaps the spark that ignites a much bigger fire.
Lalit Jha on China-India border dispute
A border stand-off between China and India moves into its second month. Can dialogue resolve the tensions? CGTN’s Wang Guan discussed the ongoing dispute with Lalit Jha. He’s the Chief U.S. correspondent for the Press Trust of India.