India, showcasing tremendous diplomatic and military tenacity, forced China and Nepal to step back together on the respective border disputes with the two countries. On the day Nepal postponed the idea of bringing its proposed constitutional amendment bill to change its map and claim Indian territories, China suddenly began playing the tune of peace amidst tension on the Indo-Chinese border in Ladakh.
In the midst of tensions on the Sino-Indian border in Ladakh, China indicated it was in no mood to escalate. After directing the army to be ready for a war on Tuesday, the Chinese foreign minister on Wednesday described the situation on the border with India as “stable and in control”. At the same time, the Chinese ambassador to India insisted on resolving differences through dialogue. He said, “The Chinese dragon and Indian elephant could dance together.”
The Chinese ambassador said in an event, “India-China peace is the only right option.” He cited the mechanism to end the differences and said that differences should not affect the relationship. This, when the Indian troops refused to budge an inch from their forward positions, which they had taken on learning of Chinese constructions along the border in Ladakh!
Addressing the Confederation of Young Leaders Meet, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Widong called for the need to deepen relations between India and China.
The ambassador said that we should never let our differences dominate our relationships. We should resolve these differences through dialogue. Sun further said that China and India are fighting a common battle against COVID-19 and we have a responsibility to further deepen our relationship.
The Chinese Ambassador called upon the youth present at the conference to understand the relationship between India and China and said that we are not a threat to each other. He said that our youth should feel the relationship between China and India. Both countries are opportunities for each other, not threats. Dragon and elephant can dance together, he said.
Experts say that China’s intension for peace will have to be seen on the ground to be believed. “China wants to change the border perception,” said a source in the Indian Army.
The tension along the Line of Actual Control in east Ladakh had persisted since 5 May. After the Chinese troops encroached into Indian territory, both the armies are stuck in that area.
When Nepal went ballistic as China resorted to old tactic of disturbing India with incursions
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had to take a step back following the dominant opposition party Nepali Congress’s stand on the map dispute in Nepal. Kathmandu withdrew the bill related to the map dispute from the schedule of the Nepali parliament yesterday.
The new, controversial map needed two-thirds support in Parliament for legal legitimacy. It is believed that Nepal has opened the way for dialogue with India with this step. Experts say the latest development is India’s diplomatic victory. But India has to deal with this issue while remaining alert.
The Nepalese Congress had informed Prime Minister KP Oli on Tuesday evening in an all-party meeting that he needed some more time in the matter. The Constitution Amendment Bill was then removed from the Parliament’s agenda for approval of the new map.
Significantly, India rejected the new Nepali map created by incorporating Kalapani and Lipulekh. India had said that Nepal should create a suitable atmosphere for dialogue. Relations between the two countries were strained when Defense Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the strategically important 80-km road connecting Lipulekh Pass to Dharchula in Uttarakhand on 8 May. Nepal had reacted sharply to the inauguration of the road, claiming that it passes through the Nepalese border.
India rejected the claim
India rejected Nepal’s claim that the road was completely within its limits. The Nepalese government had last week released a revised political and administrative map of Nepal which depicted Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani in its terrain.
Expressing displeasure, India had explicitly told Nepal not to give undue air to its territorial claims and refrained from making unjustified claims through the map.
After releasing the map, Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was constantly making rhetoric to target India. He also blamed India for the Corona infection in Nepal.
It was believed that China may be behind Nepal’s move, as the Oli-led Communist Party is considered a supporter of China. However, a large section in Nepal was pressurizing them to settle the dispute through negotiations with India.
India’s eyes on Nepal’s development
India is closely monitoring the developments in Nepal. After withdrawing the map amendment bill in the parliament of Nepali, government sources said, “We are closely watching the developments in Nepal.”
Sources said that border issues are sensitive by nature and trust and trust are essential for mutual satisfaction. Sources said that it is in our cognizance that a big debate is going on in Nepal on this matter. This underscores the seriousness of the issue.
Why China had turned aggressive
Maj Gen (retd) Gagandeep Bakshi wrote on Facebook, “Well, good to hear that China has backed down in Ladakh and wants to resolve it peacefully.”
The veteran soldier said this was “in keeping with Chinese Strategic Culture — only one strategic direction at any given time. Anything more would be a strategic digression.”
“Right now,” the retired major general said, “China is focused on Taiwan and South China Sea (east coast). So, any adventures in Ladakh would be a distraction and diversion of resources in the Wrong theatre.”
“So why did China do Galwan?” Maj Gen Bakshi explains: First, “to help Pakistan, which was fearful of Indian retaliation for Handwara.” It was “also worried about Indian assertions of taking back PoK and Gilgit- Baltistan,” which “would cut off CPEC.”
Second, the veteran wrote, was “trying to warn India not to relocate Industries moving out of China in India.”
Third, “Chinse armed forces have not seen combat in the last 42 years, hence more geared to posturing and coercive exercises, not keen on kinetic action as yet,” said Maj Gen Bakshi, adding, “Far cry from battle-hardened forces which hit us in 1962.”