Religious nationalism could push India into war with China

Geneva Matthews
July 21, 2017

On being asked about statements made by Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee alleging Chinese interference in Indian affairs, Baglay said he would not like to comment on what chief ministers have to say about India's external affairs.

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that India has got the support of all other countries in the current standoff between both the nations.

Earlier she had called an all-party meeting to apprise the opposition parties of the month-long chain of events and the steps initiated by the Narendra Modi Government.

The Op-ed article in the Global Times claimed that the Indian action to stop Chinese troops from building a road near the Doklam plateau was a "blatant infringement on China's sovereignty".

Saran said that the Chinese strategy was part of a mind game also seen in the South China Sea where through incremental activity, it slowly changed the facts on the ground and established a permanent presence without encountering any serious opposition, including from the United States.

"As per paragraph 13 in the agreement, it was written that regarding tri-junction points, India, China and third countries (here, Bhutan) will decide together on the matter together". "We want that if there's a discussion, both sides should withdraw troops" said Swaraj.

"All the countries are understanding that India's stand is not wrong". Swaraj also said that China has been "trying to change the status quo in the Doklam tri-junction area".

Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that Indian forces had to leave the area to avoid an "escalation of the situation". She added: "We have the law and right on our side".

China's State media have this past month waged a relentless campaign blaming India for "trespassing" into the Doklam region, where China's road-building into territory claimed by Bhutan triggered a standoff on June 16.

Army sources say China needs at least nine times the strength of Indian troops to have any impact and so far no red flags have been raised by the Indian army. "But since this deals with the tri-junction point it affects our security position", Swaraj said. "So, it is obvious that every responsible power, person and player in the world prefers peaceful resolution of matters", Baglay said. "In response, China must continue strengthening border construction and speed up troop deployment and construction in the Doklam area", said the op-ed.

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