Tue, 31 Jan 2023

Beijing [China], December 17 (ANI): The way New Delhi has foiled the Chinese move in Doklam to gain a vantage point to threaten the Siliguri corridor of India goes to show that the Chinese ploy of practising double standards with impunity is over, reported Voices Against Autocracy (VAA).

India appears to have left behind the baggage of 1962. In all the subsequent confrontations, be it in Nathu La and Cho La in Sikkim in 1967, in Sumdorong Chu in Arunachal Pradesh in 1986, or in Galwan in Ladakh in 2020, the Indian army had the upper hand over the Chinese. Beijing's days of bullying its way through to a position of advantage are over.

Beijing is adept at this game of shifting the goalpost to suit its requirements. Similar attempts had been made in the past in the Ladakh section of the China - India border also, first preparing a map in 1956, then revising it in 1960 to include more areas and in 1962 occupying even more areas.

The latest was in 2020 to occupy disputed areas, taking advantage of the Covid-19 situation and in violation of protocols signed between the two countries for the management of these areas. This exposes the double standards of the communist rulers of China, reported VAA.

On assumption of office as the general secretary of the Communist Party of China for the first time in 2012, Xi Jinping declared in a speech while on a visit to the National Museum of China that his goal was the "great rejuvenation" of the Chinese nation.

One of the manifestations of this rejuvenation was the move by the Chinese army to build a road from Chumbi Valley into the Bhutanese territory of Doklam Plateau, along the course of the river Torsa Nullah.

It became clear in 2017 that the real intention behind the move to construct the road was to take it up to Zompelri Ridge, a high ground on the southern fringe of the Doklam plateau, from where the Chinese army could pose a threat to the Siliguri corridor and also the tri-junction of Sikkim, Bhutan, and Tibet.

In the process, Beijing did not think twice about trampling the sovereign rights of Bhutan over its territory, the Doklam plateau reported VAA.

The Chinese move was foiled, however, in a joint move by India and Bhutan. At the request of Bhutan, on June 18, 2017, the Indian army, which had a strong presence in the tri-junction area, intervened in Doklam and stopped the Chinese army from extending the road to Zompelri Ridge, where the Royal Bhutan Army had a post.

Beijing's claim that the Doklam plateau is a part of Chinese territory is based on a distorted interpretation of the Anglo-ChineseThe text of this convention, as available in Sir Francis Younghusband's book 'India and Tibet,' lays down that "The boundary of Sikkim and Tibet shall be the crest of the mountain range separating the water flowing into the Sikkim Teesta and its affluents from the waters flowing into the Tibetan Mochu and northwards into other rivers of Tibet."Besides, as Manoj Joshi of the Observer Research Foundation has pointed out in his recent book 'Understanding the India-China Border,' published in December 2021, the treaty of 1890 was not accompanied by any map; nor was it backed by a field survey.

Going by the true watershed, the whole Doklam plateau is a part of Bhutanese territory. Continued Chinese attempts to build a road along the plateau amount to violating Bhutan's sovereign rights.

In any case, Thimphu asserts that the Doklam plateau is a part of Bhutanese territory. Since Bhutan was not a signatory to the treaty of 1890 it is not bound to accept the clause that the tri-junction of Sikkim, Tibet and Bhutan begins at Mount Gipmochi.

The continuing Chinese attempts to build roads in the Doklam plateau also violate the agreement reached between India and China in talks at the level of special representatives that the India - China boundary adjacent to the Doklam plateau is no longer determined by the Convention of 1890 and that China and India should sign a new boundary convention in their own names, in consultation with Bhutan, to replace the Convention of 1890, reported VAA. (ANI)

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