What is Doklam Issue between India, China and Bhutan?

The concern of dispute between China and India over Doklam is getting deeper day by day.

It’s been more than a month since both the countries have got tensed relationships over Doka region in Sikkim sector. Due to this, a war like situation has occurred in the area.

Even though India has offered talks to solve the issue but China refuses to engage with any kind of negotiation over the matter till their conditions are met.

Moreover, the media and press of both the countries have raised the issue to such a height that the war is expected to happen at any point of time.

There are many threats given by the neighbouring countries to India which is making the condition more complicated. One of such threat was given by The Global Times in an article on August 4, 20117 writing, “China will not allow the military standoff between China and India in Doklam to last for too long and there may be small scale military operations to expel Indian Troops within two weeks.“

Earlier also it had published similar threat on 21 July, “If Indian troops continue trespassing into China’s territory, what Beijing may do next is to get prepared for a military confrontation and resolve the conflict.”

Where is Doklam?

Doklam is also known as Donglong and is surrounded by three countries, India, China and Bhutan. Its geography is such that it is between China’s Chumbi Valley to the north, India’s Sikkim to the west and Bhutan’s Ha Valley to the east.


What is Doklam Conflict between Bhutan and China?

The Doklam valley is very important for Bhutan and China. But in June 2017 a military standoff occurred between India and China due to the China’s attempt of extending a road on the Doklam southwards near the Doka La pass.

It has been a disputed area between China and Bhutan always. Though it’s been depicted as a part of Bhutan in the Bhutanese maps since 1961, but is also claimed by China.

The first Chinese intrusion n Bhutan was made in the year 1966. China had always tried to occupy some of its part by claiming one or another reason. It claimed for 300 square miles of territory in northern parts of Punakha. On Bhutan’s request India tried to intervene but China objected and rejected India’s initiatives stating it’s a matter between him and Bhutan.

Bhutan and China had already 24 rounds of talks on the boundary disputes since 1984 but of no gain.

They also had 1998 and 1998 agreements on the boundaries. According to these agreements, both the countries should prohibit any usage of forces and adhere to peaceful means to resolve any conflicts.

“Boundary talks are ongoing between Bhutan and China and we have written agreements of 1988 and 1998 stating that the two sides agree to maintain peace and tranquility in their border areas pending a final settlement on the boundary question, and to maintain status quo on the boundary as before March 1959. The agreements also state that the two sides will refrain from taking unilateral action, or use of force, to change the status quo of the boundary.”

— Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan.

What is Doklam Issue 2017?

Since June 2017 there is a war like situation has been created between India and China and because of China’s attempt to extend a road from Yadong further southward on the Doklam plateau. India does not have any claim on Doklam but is supporting Bhutan as against to China.

To support Bhutan and oppose China’s act, Indian troops entered into the disputed territory in an attempt to prevent the road construction.

India and Bhutan have a friendship treaty according to which they will support each other on issues relating to their national interests.

India has criticized China for violating peace agreement with Bhutan by trying to construct roads in Doklam. While, China has criticized India for entering its territory.

On June 29 2017, a high alert was issued on the Bhutanese border and a heavy border security was tighter end in the zone. The same day, China also released a map claiming Doklam as part of China. China was trying to send a message via map that the territory south to Gipmochi belongs to China and is supported by the 1890 Britain-China treaty. It also told India that India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru also supported the 1980 Britain-China treaty.

The claim was contrary to the actually statement that Nehru had made. What Nehru wrote was:

“Rectification of errors in Chinese maps regarding the boundary of Bhutan with Tibet is therefore a matter which has to be discussed along with the boundary of India with the Tibet region of China in the same sector.”

The issue of Doklam has got very serious and on 1 August 2017 China has blamed India to come in between him and Bhutan and interfering the boundary talks between the two.

War is never a solution to any problem. We just pray all three countries discuss and take out the solution from talks only, and avoid the war as, otherwise it would disturb the economies of all three countries apart from loss of lives.

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