Interview with Dr Srikanth Kondapalli, Professor at Centre for East Asian Studies, JNU
Shankar Kumar | August 16, 2017 | NEW DELHI
India and China are not prepared for a war over Doklam plateau in Bhutan, assessed JNU professor Srikanth Kondapalli, a well-known China expert who is back from Beijing and Shanghai after spending two months there. In a telephonic interview with Shankar Kumar, Kondapalli said both countries will not opt for war as it will be catastrophic and millions would die.
Doklam plateau is spread over 89 sq km, lies between China’s Chumbi Valley to the north, Bhutan’s Ha Valley to the east and India’s Sikkim state to the west.
* On June 16, the Chinese PLA started constructing road from Dokola in the Doklam area towards the Bhutan Army camp at Zompelri
* On June 16, in coordination with Bhutanese soldiers, Indian soldiers in Doklam approached the Chinese soldiers and urged them to desist from road construction
* On June 30, India’s ministry of external affairs issued a statement that such construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India
* On July 20, for the first time, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj raised the Doklam issue in the Lok Sabha and said: “This time they (Chinese) brought bulldozers, and earth excavators (to build a road) and their intention is to reach the tri-junction of India-China-Bhutan.”
* On August 3, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said, “The Indian side is building roads, hoarding supplies and deploying a large number of armed forces on the Indian side of the boundary. This is by no means for peace.”
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