Bhutan: Dangerous liaison


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It did demonstrate that despite being a far superior force, it will not immediately jump into a conflict to settle things in its favour. At the same time, it does know how to play compromise. 11 dash line to 9 dash despite China having the best claim to those islands. Disputes with friendlier nations were already settled with peaceful talks. China gave up so much claim in Siberia to appease Russia despite easily being able to take that region. That's becoming more the case with each passing day. I think this is also supposed to be a "show don't tell" piece of evidence to the rest of the non-western world, that China will be a better global superpower than the USA. But who knows how it'll behave in that position when it's actually there.
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Just Hatched
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The Doklam Standoff


"The situation in 1962 was different and India of 2017 is different,"

--- Indian Defense Minister
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In June 18 2017, the Indian army moved into the Doklam area after the Chinese started construction of a road there. This started a two and a half month standoff between China and India. The event ended when India withdrew from the area unilaterally. With the Indian and
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declaring India the winner in this event.

I detest the idea that the two giant neighbors should go to war over a small patch of land. The Western media's interpretation of the event was so lopsided and divorced from reality that I wanted to bear witness to this event in my blog. If for nothing else, it is to provide an alternative account of what actually happened for the sake of posterity.


First, let me layout the sequence of events as best I can gather them.
  • June 4 or earlier, China notified India that they will be expanding a road in Doklam (This was claimed by the Chinese authorities. The Indian side did not refute this. In fact, during the dispute, one
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    the question when asked if the Chinese provided advance notice for the road building).
  • June 9, The Chinese again notified India of their intention to expand the existing road.
  • June 16, Chinese road construction crew started working on road in Doklam.
  • June 18, Indian troops, carrying weapons, armed with two bulldozers, crossed the Indian Chinese border and stopped the construction. Citing concern for the strategically vulnerable area of the
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  • June 29, Bhutan protested to China about the construction of the road on disputed territory.
  • June 30, Indian minister external affairs stated that by extending the road, China has changed the status quo in violation of a 2012 understanding.
  • June 30, in answer regarding Bhutan's protest, China spokesman stated that the area of the road construction is totally under Chinese jurisdiction and ask India to withdraw its troops.
  • July 5, China said they reached an understanding with Bhutan and there is no dispute with Bhutan about the territory.
  • July 19, China again ask India to withdraw its troops. China also held live fire drill in Tibet.
  • July 21, Sushma Swaraj, Indian External Affairs Minister, proposed that both sides withdraw their troops. She also stated that
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    . When asked which country, she named U.S., Japan and Australia.
  • July 25, U.S. State Department said they should
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    , but did not side with either country. Similar statements were made by Nepal and Bhutan.
  • July 27, Ajit Doval, India's National Security Advicer, attended a much anticipated BRICS meeting in China but failed to produce any diplomatic breakthrough.
  • Aug 8, China officially rejected the proposal by Sushma Swaraj for mutual withdrawal and stated that the time for peaceful resolution is running out, that China's position is India must unilaterally withdraw from the area as a pre-condition for any negotiation. There has almost been daily tirades by the Chinese with the same message from this point on.
  • Aug. 9, Chinese trains were spotted transporting military equipment to Tibet, where an armed incursion into India is expected to be launched. ==> Linked back to SDF :)
  • Aug. 15, Chinese and Indian troops clashed near Pangong lake. They fought with sticks and stones. Several injured from both sides.
  • Aug. 16,
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    deals with Nepal for gas exploration.
  • Aug. 24, Chinese missiles were
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    heading to the Tibet region.
  • Aug. 24, China issue travel warning to Chinese going to India.
  • Aug, 24, China was said to have signed
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    package with Bhutan.
  • Aug. 24, Large Chinese military convoys were spotted heading to Tibet.
  • Aug. 25, Chinese Navy held
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    off Indian Ocean.
  • Aug. 28, India announced that China and India has mutually agreed to disengage and the Indian troops are in a process of moving out of the area. The
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    confirmed that the Indian troops and equipment have already moved out, but countered that only the Indian troops have moved back to their side. The Chinese troops have not pulled out and are still patrolling the area. When asked if they will continue to build roads in the area, the Chinese side stated they are "taking into account various factors like weather, we will make proper building plans in light of actual situation".
  • Aug. 30, Indian Defense Minister Arun Jeitley, when asked if Modi won in the standoff against China,
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    "Given the sensitivity of the issue, there is no need to make multiple statements,". He also announce the government's decision to carry out major reforms in the Army to enhance its combat capability, but said that this is unrelated to Doklam.
It is pretty clear based on the sequence of events that

1. The Indian side started this whole thing. The Chinese were initially surprised by the intrusion.

2. While India picked the fight, the Chinese finished it. However the Indian press or the Western press spin the events, India unilaterally withdrew from the area without any significant concession from China. No mutual withdrawal, no promise not to build the road per Indian request.


Why did India make this move?


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makes me wonder if Bhutan has received like quadruple of its GDP yet ... Aug 24, 2017
LOL It's probably a multi-year package that gets trickled into them a couple hundred mill at a time after they complete their end of each step.

It's just bad practice to sign a deal that would give a country over 400% of its GDP at once while they have nothing to offer you on the spot that could be worth even 10%. Besides, if you find a poor orphan and you wanna turn his life around/take him under your wing, you train him for a career and give him steady pay; you don't throw a million dollars at him out of pity.
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