Doklam row: EU embassies in wait-and-watch mode

Embassies of the three major European countries have been in constant touch with their governments, besides being briefed by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on the developing situation.

Written by Sushant Singh | New Delhi | Updated: August 14, 2017 4:56 pm
doklam standoff, sikkim standoff, doklam, sikkim, china, india, indian express news The Indian government has been silent about any comparisons of Doklam with Chinese moves in South China Sea. (File photo)

As the standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers at Doklam nears eight weeks, diplomats of major European countries in New Delhi have adopted a “wait and watch” attitude while formulating the possible line that they can take in case of any escalation of the ongoing crisis.

Embassies of the three major European countries have been in constant touch with their governments, besides being briefed by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on the developing situation. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the diplomats told The Sunday Express that the Indian government has not requested them to issue a statement so far. They said in all their briefings, the MEA has conveyed that it is, diplomatically, fully in control of the situation. “Your MEA has not asked us to issue any statement so far, and we are still in a wait-and-watch mode. You see, besides the United States, no one else has spoken so far,” said a diplomat.

The European Union (EU) office in New Delhi, the diplomats said, had already conveyed its dilemma about taking a clear stance to the EU headquarters last month. These countries are also grappling with a similar dilemma and would not want to openly antagonise Beijing because of the economic ties they share with China. This is despite their acknowledgement that India has dealt with the situation with maturity while the Chinese have been belligerent.

“If a situation arises where we have to issue a public statement, it would have to be limited to asking both India and China to resolve it peacefully through dialogue. Anything beyond that would be difficult to say but it will finally depend on how the situation evolves,” a diplomat explained.

These European countries are also in touch with the Bhutanese embassy in Delhi. One of the ambassadors was, in fact, told by his Bhutanese counterpart last month that comparing Doklam crisis to Chinese attempts to alter the status quo in South China Sea was incorrect. The Bhutanese also conveyed their wish to see an early resolution to the crisis between their two biggest neighbours.

The Indian government has been silent about any comparisons of Doklam with Chinese moves in South China Sea, which was acknowledged by Admiral Harry B Harris, Commander of the US Pacific Command. “I think that’s a determination that India is going to have to make itself. I don’t want to speak for India, and I certainly don’t want to speculate on what might happen. I think this is a dispute, as it stands now, and that India and China must work out together. Hopefully peacefully,” he told PTI.

Harris’s area of responsibility includes both India and China. “I think that any time you have two great powers at odds across a common border, that’s an area of concern. Of course, it’s potentially dangerous,” he said.

Echoing the US State Department’s view that the US encourages the two countries to resolve their differences diplomatically, he added: “But I think that I would echo those sentiments of our own government leaders, America’s national leadership, that we encourage both India and China to engage in diplomacy, to help reduce these tensions.”

Harris is known for his outspoken anti-China views, and, during a public talk in New Delhi last year, he had hoped for joint patrols by the Indian and American Navies in Indo-Asia-Pacific waters. The offer was subsequently rejected by then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. — With PTI inputs

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  1. B
    Bharati
    Aug 15, 2017 at 9:37 am
    The US economy owes China big money. So why not solve that imbalance by helping China buy, India specific arms and declare war on India. Saves all those jobs in southern state arms factories too. Like colonizers, create war and this time reduceTW0 big powers at a time. The British deliberately created borders and divisions wherever they ruled so that these divisions would be problematic for all time: helps sell arms, helps colonized countries spend on arms rather than on improvement/education, helps UK/US, etc. to act as if you are peace brokers.
    Reply
    1. K
      Kaimas Mehta
      Aug 14, 2017 at 10:51 am
      It is a very tricky situation especially in view of the belligerent posture of China, not only in the disputed site of Doklam but even in No-Man's-Land. Is it to needle India or to fore-warn about unpredictable escalation of conflict, or just bullying a smaller country to bend under threats and pressure ? Whatever may be the Chinese tactics, I think, India is mature enough to respond firmly but like a responsible power.
      Reply
      1. M
        Mersa
        Aug 14, 2017 at 8:21 am
        According to the World Bank statistics, as of the end of June 2017, India's foreign debt totaled 1.8 trillion dollars,interest up to 8 percent(The international warning line is 3 percent, and China is 2.2 percent)China's foreign debt of only 1.6 trillion dollars(China debt,90 percent is China Domestic debt) ,India's GDP is only 18 percent of China, But foreign debt is more than China. The most dangerous is that India's short-term foreign debt interest and other payables 470 billion dollars,more than India 315 billion dollars foreign exchange reserves(more than 150 percent)then the next is the national bankruptcy of India, currency devaluation, while declaring the reform failure of Modi,Therefore Modi imitated Argentina,Provoke with foreign territorial disputes, in order to transfer the Indian people's attention.Note:last century 80s,Argentina reform failed,National economic bankruptcy,Argentina launch with the British Malvinas islands War,Argentina fiasco,So lost Malvinas islands
        Reply
        1. M
          Mersa
          Aug 14, 2017 at 8:20 am
          According to the World Bank statistics, as of the end of June 2017, India's foreign debt totaled 1.8 trillion dollars,interest up to 8 percent(The international warning line is 3 percent, and China is 2.2 percent)China's foreign debt of only 1.6 trillion dollars(China debt,90 percent is China Domestic debt) ,India's GDP is only 18 percent of China, But foreign debt is more than China. The most dangerous is that India's short-term foreign debt interest and other payables 470 billion dollars,more than India 315 billion dollars foreign exchange reserves(more than 150 percent)then the next is the national bankruptcy of India, currency devaluation, while declaring the reform failure of Modi,Therefore Modi imitated Argentina,Provoke with foreign territorial disputes, in order to transfer the Indian people's attention.Note:last century 80s,Argentina reform failed,National economic bankruptcy,Argentina launch with the British Malvinas islands War,Argentina fiasco,So lost Malvinas islands
          Reply
          1. M
            Mersa
            Aug 14, 2017 at 8:18 am
            According to the World Bank statistics, as of the end of June 2017, India's foreign debt totaled 1.8 trillion dollars,interest up to 8 percent(The international warning line is 3 percent, and China is 2.2 percent)China's foreign debt of only 1.6 trillion dollars(China debt,80 percent is China Domestic debt) ,India's GDP is only 18 percent of China, But foreign debt is more than China. The most dangerous is that India's short-term foreign debt interest and other payables 470 billion dollars,more than India 315 billion dollars foreign exchange reserves(more than 150 percent)then the next is the national bankruptcy of India, currency devaluation, while declaring the reform failure of Modi,Therefore Modi imitated Argentina,Provoke with foreign territorial disputes, in order to transfer the Indian people's attention.Note:last century 80s,Argentina reform failed,National economic bankruptcy,Argentina launch with the British Malvinas islands War,Argentina fiasco,So lost Malvinas islands
            Reply
            1. D
              D K
              Aug 13, 2017 at 10:24 pm
              It is that fear of antagonizing Beijing which has to be overcome because such fear stops one from taking a just stand.Be fearless and support justice.
              Reply
              1. H
                hgew
                Aug 13, 2017 at 5:30 pm
                in 1962,India In the war fiasco,after the one year later,Nehru mad and died,Since then,Indian to become the Inferior racial and clown and joke in the eyes of Chinese and Westerners,1962 China Dare to suddenly initiative to attack India, India fiasco, 2017 India why not Dare initiative to attack China? Modi and Indians are all cowards ! will be always the ridicule object of Westerners and Chinese,hahaha
                Reply
                1. P
                  Punter
                  Aug 16, 2017 at 8:20 am
                  You have forgotten 1967? Search in google you will come to know how Chinese pigs were butchered by India 😄
                  Reply
                2. V
                  Vikral Singh
                  Aug 13, 2017 at 4:40 pm
                  May be China is doing the same thing Chou En Lie did to Nehru before 1962 war.On the face of it, Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai and behind the back ingress into territory. Chinese may be wanting us to move our troops to the border and expect conflict to start but it can be just a bluff because they are also preparing for North Korea and China Sea intervention.What are our options? what happens to our conflict in Kashmir and with Pak? Keeping troops on border costs us a lot of money which may affect our overall economy.Also internal problems in every state is also there, and then we have a part time Defence minister. Hope we are aware of all this
                  Reply
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