Doklam standoff settlement a victory for Asia

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/30 0:03:39
India withdrew its troops to its own territory along the China-India border on Monday. The next day, it announced that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the BRICS summit in Xiamen, China in early September. Both China and India have indicated that they intend to leave the Doklam border standoff behind as soon as possible.

But some people in both countries are still indulging in a confrontational atmosphere that had lasted in the past two months. The standoff has severely affected how the two sides view each other.

A few Indian media outlets claimed a victory for New Delhi. A so-called inside story was revealed to prove that the Indian side took the upper hand. Chinese public opinion has exercised restraint and avoided irritating India that has to pull its soldiers from the Doklam area.

The fact is that the Indian troops withdrew to their own side on Monday. By so doing, India has admitted that China has sovereignty and the actual control over the Doklam area. China has also made it clear that its border troops will continue with their patrols in the area. Public opinion in India is trying its utmost to prove New Delhi’s dignity, which China doesn’t refute. The Chinese side was willing to see Indian soldiers withdraw without losing face.

As nationalist sentiment is surging in India, it was not an easy decision for the Modi government to withdraw the Indian troops.

Besides pressure from China, India has taken a rational approach. Therefore, we should encourage India’s move, which matches China’s demeanor as a great power.

This newspaper hit hard at India during the faceoff, but now we don’t want to engage in an argument with the Indian media as to which side won this standoff. We just want to say that the two countries can end this crisis without having to resort to war, which is a victory for Asia.

A few Chinese perhaps are not satisfied that the crisis was settled this way. They wish the People’s Liberation Army could have given India’s troops a good slap. Indians have their own regrets. When the confrontation ended, China stressed its sovereignty and control over the Doklam area and did not make the open commitment that India had hoped for.

But this is perhaps the maturity of the Asian continent. US and Japanese strategists have wanted to see a long-term confrontation between China and India. While such a scenario was about to come, it eventually did not.

But this incident shows that India may act beyond the logic of international relations. As the two countries deepen their understanding, they must pay more attention to avoid any misjudgments that may lead to a new crisis.

China needs to enhance its deterrence to avoid external provocations. China has powerful comprehensive strength, while how we utilize this strength to safeguard our national interests hasn’t been recognized by external forces and has to be proved in a crisis. This will add costs to China’s safeguarding of its national security, so enhancing our deterrence needs to be one of our grand national plans.

Posted in: EDITORIAL