China to make “necessary adjustments” to its deployments in Doklam

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In this August 11, 2017 photo, exiled Tibetans shout slogans during a protest in New Delhi to show support to India on the Doklam tensions. Diplomacy has since defused the deadlock, which threatened to snowball into a war between the two powerful neighbours imperilling regional peace.

As part of the border deal, consequent to Indian troops leaving the plateau.

Without referring to an agreement on a two-way pullback, China on Monday confirmed that Indian troops had left Doklam plateau, following which Chinese troops would make “necessary adjustment” to troop deployments in the Doklam area.

“I have made myself clear that Indian side has pulled back all its personnel and equipment to the Indian side of the boundary. In the light of the changes of the situation, on the ground, China will make necessary adjustment and deployment(s),” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in response to a question.
Chinese troops will patrol area

Without going into specifics regarding troop numbers and other details, Ms. Hua said that “Chinese border troops continue to patrol in the Donglang area,” referring to the Chinese name for the Doklam plateau.

The spokesperson, however maintained that China exercised “sovereignty” in the Doklam area, implying that Beijing, so far, did not consider the area of the face-off as a disputed tri-junction point among China, India and Bhutan.

Besides, the Foreign Ministry reiterated the relevance of “historical conventions,” — a veiled reference to the 1890 convention between Britain and China that delineates the boundary in the Sikkim sector — as the basis of for the “exercise of sovereignty,” in the area.

Ms. Hua also said that “China is happy over the Indian withdrawal.” She added that the “peaceful settlement serves [the interest] of both sides.”
Unilateral Indian pullback

A Chinese academic who did not wish to be named said that any acceptance of a formulation of a “mutual pullback,” would not have gone down well at home in China. “It would have been seen as backtracking from the official Chinese position demanding a unilateral Indian withdrawal as the pre-condition for talks.”

As of now, the end of the three-month-long Doklam crisis is being cautiously welcomed, especially as it opens to the door for a “constructive engagement” between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the upcoming BRICS summit in Xiamen on September 3.

“This is good news for the bilateral relations and BRICS. It means both governments are still keen on maintaining peace,” says Hu Shisheng, Director at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told The Hindu.
‘Fallout: positive bilateral ties’

Referring to the larger implications of positive China-India ties, he pointed out that “peace between China and India not only benefits the two peoples but the larger international community.”

The end of the standoff has also sent positive vibes in sections of the business community, with a growing engagement with India.

“The end of the standoff reflects the political wisdom of both governments. It will indeed provide a healthy environment for the forthcoming cooperation between China and India. It will also pave the way for a good and sound summit at Xiamen,” says Jonathan Liu, executive director on India at the Sichuan chamber of International commerce, in a conversation with The Hindu.
Diplomacy defused deadlock

The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted Rajeev Ranjan Chaturvedy, a research associate at the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, that officials from both sides had worked hard to defuse the tensions.

“The diplomatic channels were open throughout,” Mr. Chaturvedy said. “Withdrawing troops will ease some tension and will provide room for both leaders at the BRICS [summit].”