Doklam border stand-off: Government briefs Opposition, China storm unlikely in monsoon session

While all parties asked the Government to find a diplomatic solution, sources said that Mulayam, a former defence minister, wanted India to “teach a lesson” to China so that situations, such as the current stand-off in Doklam, would not arise in future.

Written by Manoj C G , Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi | Updated: July 15, 2017 8:46 am
India China Border dispute, PM Narendra Modi, Narendra Modi China Visit, India, India border, China, China border, Huang Xilian, Huang Xilian Deputy Director General of Asian Affairs, The Government informed the Opposition that it was confident of resolving the issue through diplomatic channels and discussions (File)

THE OPPOSITION is unlikely to adopt a “very aggressive” position on the border stand-off with China in Parliament, after arriving at a broad understanding with the government ahead of the monsoon session starting Monday to maintain a measured tone in line with India’s diplomatic position on the issue, sources told The Indian Express. During a briefing on Friday at Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence, the Opposition parties asked the central ministers present to make efforts to de-escalate the tension with Beijing and keep diplomatic channels open to resolve the crisis, said sources.

The Government informed the Opposition that it was confident of resolving the issue through diplomatic channels and discussions, they added. Apart from Singh, the Centre was represented at the meeting by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, and senior officials, including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar. The Opposition leaders included Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and Anand Sharma, SP’s Mulayam Singh Yadav, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav, NCP’s Sharad Pawar and CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury. Using maps and a power-point presentation, Jaishankar told Opposition leaders that although the dispute is between China and Bhutan, the Chinese are constructing roads near the international border, which affects India’s strategic interests, said sources. They added that Doval, who is visiting China for a BRICS NSAs meeting on July 26-27, did not speak during the briefing.

Jaishankar’s presentation traced the genesis of the dispute, with the Opposition being informed about how Chinese troops entered Indian territory in May and June, and destroyed an old post, said sources. They were told that there is another post that China wants to remove to build the road, said sources. The leaders were also informed that there was at least one instance of a “face-off” in which troops from both sides lined up against each other. The presentation also indicated that China did not have territorial claims in the area surrounding the stand-off, said sources.

While all parties asked the Government to find a diplomatic solution, sources said that Mulayam, a former defence minister, wanted India to “teach a lesson” to China so that situations, such as the current stand-off in Doklam, would not arise in future. The SP was in favour of “strong action”, said sources. Sources that Mulayam and Pawar, also a former defence minister, would separately meet with Jaitley during the Parliament session on this issue. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that while he supported the Government’s efforts to resolve the standoff through diplomatic channels, India should let Bhutan take the lead in negotiating with China. “Let us see what the results are… if it is not in our interests, then intervene,” sources quoted him as saying. Yechury also pointed out that China has been having border discussions with Bhutan since 1984.

Congress’s Sharma said that the standoff should not be allowed to affect the “settled part” of the Sikkim sector and expressed concern that India “may be running the risk of unravelling that”.

Asked after the briefing whether the Congress was satisfied, Sharma told The Indian Express, “We were informed. We cannot say that we are satisfied. We were informed about the sequence of events, the background as to how this situation has aggravated into a tense standoff between the two armies. They said they will continue with diplomatic efforts. We told them that diplomatic channels must remain fully active and conflict cannot be the best option. It should be de-escalated and resolved.” Stressing that the Congress will raise the issue in Parliament, Sharma said that his party told the Government that India’s concerns have to be fully met and there should not be any compromise on national security.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Yechury said that there will have to be a discussion in Parliament on this issue. “Why such a standoff after all these years? We need to introspect. Several things have to be borne in mind, India’s strategic alliance with the US, the defence partnership with the US, naval exercises with Japan in the South China Sea, allowing the Dalai Lama to hoist the Tibetan flag in Arunachal Pradesh. All these things are behind this. Ties with all our neighbours are deteriorating, be it Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka. These are larger issues, which need to be discussed in Parliament,” he said.

In its presentation, sources said, the Government spoke about the meeting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with Chinese President Xi Jingping on the sidelines of the BRICS meeting in Hamburg last week. Sharma, however, pointed out that the Chinese side has categorically denied the meeting. “I asked them to tell us what was discussed. They parried it. We are not satisfied on that response,” he said. The AIADMK backed the Government to the hilt, with its leader A Navaneethakrishnan also pointing out that China’s influence is on the rise in Sri Lanka, which is “a matter of concern”.

JD(U)’s Yadav said that the growing bonhomie between China and Pakistan would be a problem for India, and New Delhi must be on good terms with “at least one of them”.

Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said that his party raised “some serious questions”. “Mamatadi (West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) has been talking about China in the context of the flare-up in the hills. Today, Siliguri was mentioned five times in the presentation; naturally, it is the chicken neck,” he said. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said that all parties appreciated the “detailed briefing” by the Government and that “all participants expressed strong support for India’s approach and also for the need for national unity”.

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    Avatar Singh
    Jul 15, 2017 at 6:09 pm
    We Indians should stop buying all the Chinese products from today itself to teach these pigs a lesson. If India stops buying their economy will go down to a farthest extent and there will be a civil war in China. We should make them to learn a lesson from us. For this all our Indians should unite and decide NOT TO BUY CHINESE PRODUCTS ANY MORE. Will our Indian brothers get united in this?
    Reply
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      FekendraModi
      Jul 15, 2017 at 7:31 pm
      pehle apne najayaaz baap fekendra ko bol beef eater trump ka p1chwada naa chaate, aur apne harm1 baniyo ko bol ki chinese based companies me employment naa le.
      Reply
      1. F
        FekendraModi
        Jul 15, 2017 at 7:34 pm
        jab tak tere goyal/jain/singhal/agarwal ityadi gaddar Oppo/vivo/lenovo/xiaomi etc me top se middle positions tak employed rahenge, bakiyo ko Chinese goods mat kharido bolke faayda nahi. pehle in gaddaro ko bolo en masse resign karne, fir baat karo doosre Bharatiyo se
        Reply
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        Dandy CoolMe
        Jul 15, 2017 at 4:02 pm
        Cunks are greediest bums in the whole world, if a country causes WW3 it will be China. Their greed knows no bound be it land or water, they openly encroach other countries land and international water, before they did it subtly and slowly and now they do it openly and so fast. They don't deserve to be on UN Security Council.
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          Ravi Ravi
          Jul 15, 2017 at 3:21 pm
          we all lose with war
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          1. D
            Dandy CoolMe
            Jul 15, 2017 at 3:42 pm
            No we won't Chinaman, India has one of best infantry regiment in world ever, plus India is a Nuclear Force like China, it will destroy both countries if China Goes to war and probably start WW-3 .So if China wants to continue greedy and dumb ways to go for land of poor countries like Tibet and Bhutan it will cause absolute destruction.
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            Ananya Chopra
            Jul 15, 2017 at 2:57 pm
            War should only be the last resort. We can not afford it. It would destroy us. We already have created enemies all around us. Let's try to make friends and improve better relationships with our neighbours. Only traitors will try to cause war which would divide us like the British did
            Reply
            1. M
              Moa
              Jul 15, 2017 at 11:50 am
              Sitaram Yechury is asking India to introspect? Why not ask China to stop bullying Bhutan? Introspect that traitor
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                Pranab
                Jul 15, 2017 at 11:33 am
                China is weak financially, the Congress is aware and the present Govt. is also aware. We Indians do not fight with our neighbors, but if you finger us we will teeth you. China is a demolished financial en y. The talks are camouflaged for its might, but the soldiers do not act. Why. The financial is such the cannot pay their soldiers ry for 3 months and cannot provide sufficient arms to fight or negotiate. Nuclear arm is with India also and with Pakistan and China. Does it solve the pur[pose of human survival???
                Reply
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                  Kamal Pasha
                  Jul 15, 2017 at 11:50 am
                  PRANAB : Why do you lie and give wrong impressions to the Public. Financially India's reserve is $ 343 billions, whereas China's reserve is more than $ 3 trillions. (One trillion is thousand billions) All the comments by Indians are always wrong like the Bhashans of Modi. Better fight with China if you have guts. So fare non of the so called Indian friends of India has supported India in this stand off with China.
                  Reply
                2. Q
                  Quan
                  Jul 15, 2017 at 10:08 am
                  As a Chinese but spending over a decade in the U.S., I really do not think this is a smart move. Chinese will hit back eventually, but will wait for the right moment. It is likely that Chinese will continue building the road, no matter the Indians like it or not. To secure the region of the chick neck, it is through trust and treaty with Chinese government, not by military threat. China is four times larger than India. You can wag a dog, not a tiger.
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                    Ramesh Nittoor
                    Jul 15, 2017 at 10:24 am
                    China is not better off than India on India-China border. Plus they wage war in hostile territory of Tibet where local populace shall cooperate with Indian forces. Over last 6 years, Indian has developed offensive capability, has better logistics support, and missile base of Prithvi, Bramhos etc and heavy artillery to decimate enemy troops, as was done in 1967, wherein China lost the battle quite miserably. Chinese have advantage only about 300km north of the Tibet-India borders. So as soon as skirmishes start, Chinese will have to withdraw first, before they can sustain their defence. China surely has superior long range battle capability, but this will matter only if the battle stretches for months and years. In that scenario, a sanctioned China will find its economy in doldrums. Do not underestimate India, they have reached Mars in their first attempt, China is still trying.
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                    1. Q
                      Quan
                      Jul 15, 2017 at 11:08 am
                      Come on, China is a compe or, not an enemy. China's major concerns are North Korea and Taiwan, not India. Even China lost the border conflict to the India-although it is not likely-it won't affect the government stability. But the chicken neck will be cut off and India will fall into pieces. If you grab somebody's ball in your hand, will you be worried? Plus, war is very expensive. A cheap short range missile can reach New Deli easily from Tibetan highland (only 400 miles away), but Beijing is 1800 miles away from Indian border. India is still a poor country, why would you do that?
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                      Mohammad Dar
                      Jul 15, 2017 at 11:31 am
                      Typical of hogs of hinduism immorality by faith, they always do some thing, to reach their destination of hinduism destruction, by pocking the wrong lion.
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        Rahul
                        Jul 15, 2017 at 9:33 pm
                        Kitana frustrated he be ...
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                        Raja Raja
                        Jul 15, 2017 at 11:49 am
                        your are just a pig blood with a loud mouth. Our troops are waiting for you what is taking you so long. even scientifically it is proved that your genes are similar to pigs. just like a pig you claim everything as your own South China Sea Tibet....We will slaughter you like a filthy pig. Your peking pig blood will be smeared across China prc.
                        Reply
                        1. K
                          Kamal Pasha
                          Jul 15, 2017 at 12:41 pm
                          RAJA RAJA. : You don't know anything about your own country that is why you elected a Lier as your leader. Better keep quite and go watch movie. The days of Rajas are gone forever.,
                          1. R
                            Rahul
                            Jul 15, 2017 at 9:31 pm
                            abe pasha...chup, . auragzeb ke naajayaz aulad...ab bhi mughal rule samajh raha hai, kya?
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                            Rahul
                            Jul 15, 2017 at 9:37 pm
                            china will do nothing of this sort...it is just a mind-game of brinkmanship...all this talk about economy, army is meaningless...there are multiple factors at play during a war...china stands to lose much more.. dia is a democracy, and all internal issues will be papered over if a conflict starts...and china on the other hand will come under direct international censure...a simple takeover of territories or nuclear weapons use is only fantasy...not reality...
                            Reply
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                            Justin
                            Jul 15, 2017 at 9:13 am
                            The communists in India will always support China who pay them regularly
                            Reply
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