Foreign Policy Watch: India-China

[op-ed snap] Agreeing to disagree: ending the Doklam stand-offop-ed snap

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Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.

With the experience from Doklam standoff, what are the flaws in India’s border security management and what are the changes required to address further future security issues?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  Nathu La pass

Mains level: India-China relations



  1. With separate announcements, India and China have ended the Doklam military stand-off
  2. Decision on Doklam, which comes a week before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to go to China

Separate announcements

  1. The tone of the statement from New Delhi, referring to the “expeditious disengagement of border personnel” as part of the understanding between the two countries, shows that the government’s policy of pursuing diplomatic measures in the face of China’s angry rhetoric was wise
  2. In turn, China’s statement, which said that Indian troops had withdrawn from the disputed Doklam plateau while Chinese troops continue to patrol the area, gives Beijing the latitude it requires to end the stand-off peacefully.

Modi and Xi Jinping meet

  • Once Mr. Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met, diplomats must begin to repair the rupture in ties over the past few months, beginning with the cancellation of the Nathu La route for Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrims. 

Other concerns

  1. Statements from China during the stand-off indicate that it no longer recognises the gains made in the Special Representative talks in 2012. Nor does it regard the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction near Batang-La to have been settled.
  2. India has made it clear that it does not consider the Sikkim boundary settled either, and both sides will have to walk swiftly to come back to some semblance of an accord on such basic issues before they can move further

Way forward

  • India and China must revert to the spirit of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement of 2013, which laid down specific guidelines on tackling future developments along the 3,488-km boundary the two countries share.


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