Another day, and another instance of posturing between China and India – this time coming from China, a day before India celebrated its 69th Republic Day.
In a delayed reaction to Indian Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat’s contention that Dokalam is a disputed territory between Bhutan and China, Chinese defence ministry spokesman, Colonel Wu Qian asserted on Thursday that Dokalam (or Donglong, as the Chinese call it) is very much a part of China, and advised India to draw lessons from last year’s standoff between the militaries of the two countries in Dokalam.
What actually caused the Chinese to withdraw from Dokalam after 73 days of stare-down remains something of a mystery, but withdraw they did, following which the Indian Army went into chest-thumping mode, saying it forced the Chinese to retreat.
However, when China advises India to learn from what happened in Dokalam, it carries vague suggestions – perhaps contrary to the Indian narrative on the standoff – which China, maintaining its secretive form, has not revealed. One of the suggestions, it may be inferred, is that the Indian Army knows why the PLA retreated more than the Indian public does.
Gen Rawat also said that India needs to shift focus from the border with Pakistan to the nation’s borders with China. What this statement suggests is clear as day. Expect more Chinese adventures along the borders. Who knows, the next one might well take place on the edges of Arunachal Pradesh.