FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

China-India Standoff: Modi Has Bitten Off More Than He Can Chew

by

Delusion and petulance are character flaws in a politician that often boomerang or, in soccer parlance, score one’s own goal.

Three years into Modi’s reign as India’s prime minister, some of his major policies such as demonetisation, have done precisely that. The latest border standoff with China, caused by Modi, looks likely to end up with eggs on his face.

The ongoing face-off at the tri-junction at Donglang or Doklam Plateau, where China, India (Sikkim) and Bhutan territories abut one another, is different from past skirmishes (excluding the Sino-India War in 1962) in more ways than one.

First, the flashpoint is in Chinese-controlled area to which Bhutan also lays claim. Second, Indian troops and vehicles crossed into Donglang purportedly on behalf of Bhutan. That was a lie, according to information emanating from Thimphu. Bhutan’s troops were at the border at the time India’s incursion took place, and the Bhutanese didn’t seek help from the Indian soldiers there.

Why is New Delhi more interested in Donglang than Thimphu, the claimant? Donglang is a strategic plateau lying in the tri-junction that stands above the narrow Siliguri corridor or “chicken neck” that connects the  northeastern states to the rest of India. Seizing control of the corridor by China in a war means cutting the northeastern states from the rest of India.

Chinese academics have pointed out that India’s intrusion into Chinese-controlled Donglang on behalf of a third party i.e. Bhutan, has set a precedent which China can invoke against India in future.

A potential case is India-controlled Jammu and Kashmir or J&K in Kashmir, also claimed by Pakistan. China now has full justification to send troops into J&K at the request of its ally Pakistan. Such scenario would send chills down the spine of Indians collectively.

The border standoff also makes Bhutanese, the happiest people on earth based on the Gross National Happiness index invented by their King, less than happy.

A virtual protectorate of India which is in de facto control of Thimphu’s foreign affairs, defence and economy, Bhutan has long chaffed at New Delhi’s stranglehold over Bhutan. Thimphu has, since the British left India, walked a tightrope between subservience to India and its own independence to avoid being annexed by India, as Sikkim was in 1975.

Bhutan’s border negotiations with China, after more than 20 rounds over 30 years, are still not settled due to interference by New Delhi. Unlike Nepal which has moved closer to China in recent years, Bhutan is impeded in reaching out to Beijing.

Thimphu’s tolerance for New Delhi’s suffocating control is at breaking point. The potential for India losing its closest ally in South Asia has just gone up several notches.

More articles by:
February 21, 2018
Cecil Bothwell
Billy Graham and the Gospel of Fear
Ajamu Baraka
Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire
Edward Hunt
Treating North Korea Rough
Binoy Kampmark
Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean
Ron Jacobs
Stamping Out Hunger
Ammar Kourany – Martha Myers
So, You Think You Are My Partner? International NGOs and National NGOs, Costs of Asymmetrical Relationships
Michael Welton
1980s: From Star Wars to the End of the Cold War
Judith Deutsch
Finkelstein on Gaza: Who or What Has a Right to Exist? 
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
War Preparations on Venezuela as Election Nears
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Military Realities
Steve Early
Refinery Safety Campaign Frays Blue-Green Alliance
Ali Mohsin
Muslims Face Increasing Discrimination, State Surveillance Under Trump
Julian Vigo
UK Mass Digital Surveillance Regime Ruled Illegal
Peter Crowley
Revisiting ‘Make America Great Again’
Andrew Stewart
Black Panther: Afrofuturism Gets a Superb Film, Marvel Grows Up and I Don’t Know How to Review It
CounterPunch News Service
A Call to Celebrate 2018 as the Year of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois by the Saturday Free School
February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail