‘Deal to appease domestic audiences’

In a deal that is likely to be delicately balanced, China may suspend the construction of the road, while India is likely to initiate the pullback of troops, to end the three-month old standoff in the Doklam plateau, says a former Chinese diplomat.

“Given the high level of sensitivity accorded to this issue, neither of the two governments in their statements of August 28, gave an impression to their domestic audiences that they were speaking from a position of weakness,” said Mao Siwei, former Chinese consul general in Kolkata, in an e-mailed response to The Hindu.

He highlighted that although both sides did not go into details in their announcements, judging from experience and common knowledge, both sides are highly likely reach consensus very soon. “First in principle China will suspend building the road and Indian troops would withdraw,” says Mr. Mao. He added: “In terms of timing, India will withdraw first and China will follow after that.”

“This is a wise choice made by the two top leaders facing tremendous extreme nationalist sentiments in both countries. China gave up the choice of war and stepped back to gain more. India decided to attend the BRICS and continue maintain normal relations with China,” observed Mr. Mao.

Deliberate ambiguity

Separately Sun Shihai, an expert on South Asia at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Hong Kong based South China Morning Post that there was “deliberate ambiguity in the two foreign ministries’ statements”. He added that the “each side’s media will write the narrative to suit the feelings of their audiences”.

The impact of Monday’s agreement to end the Doklam crisis has echoed in the region, including East Asia.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 4:54:05 AM |

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