On June 16, Chinese troops began extending a border road into the Doklam plateau, a tiny piece of land claimed by both China and Bhutan (but not India). China has repeatedly demanded India to withdraw its forces from the region and claiming it is prepared to do everything necessary to defend its territorial sovereignty.
Despite China's overall military superiority, it is scarcely in a position to defeat India decisively in a Himalayan war, given India's fortified defenses along the border.
The scathing editorial reiterated that if Indian troops continue to stay on Chinese territory, it will be quite another matter.
UK-based Indian-origin Desai, who is also a Labour Peer in the British House of Lords, observed that if a war is to break out in the two theatres, it will see the United States and India on one side and China on the other.
Meanwhile, Bhutan is not the only nation that China is trying to warm up to. It has nothing to do with India. Based on Indian government's own estimation, the country's illiteracy rate is around 20 to 30 percent, while the number in China is only 4 percent.
India has argued that China's building of roads would represent a "significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India", but the fact is, Chinese construction is being conducted within its own territory. It also moved closer to India and embarked on an ambitious project to modernize the country's military and economy. China held live fire drills along the border last week, where several thousand troops from both countries are stationed.
The standoff has continued and the situation between the two countries remains tense. New Delhi's bold decision to confront Chinese troops at Doklam-an area near India's so-called tri-border with China and Bhutan-surprised and angered Beijing. Russian reports were likely a menacing signal from the Soviet Union to the Chinese leadership to back off. As first reported by TOI on Sunday, China has reached out to the Nepal government on the Doklam issue here in Delhi and also in Beijing and Kathmandu.
Xinhua wrote that India and China must work on improving the mutual trust between them since they are not innately adversaries. "What if we use the same excuse and enter the Kalapani region between China, India and Nepal or even into the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan". "And that could be the single most far-reaching outcome of the standoff at Sikkim". It argued that since the boundary between the two neighbours at Sikkim Sector had already been delimited by the 1890 convention between United Kingdom and China, the bilateral mechanism led by the Special Representatives had no scope to discuss the current face-off, reports Deccan Herald.
The strong rhetoric of the state media, is however, not backed by the official sources. The lessons of the 1962 war didn't last for half a century.
A prolonged standoff would thus allow Bhutan to strengthen the voices of developing a more balanced foreign policy.
Most previous standoffs, such as one in 2014 just ahead of a rare trip to India for President Xi Jinping, were resolved with both sides withdrawing their forces.