China’s response to the standoff with India has been rare and can be compared with the strong reaction from Beijing in the aftermath of the 1975 induction of Sikkim into India, said former National Security Adviser and former Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon on Friday.
Speaking to a select group of foreign affairs reporters, he said that India’s response was justified but said China had not overreacted either.
“China’s response to the Doklam situation is not unprecedented in bilateral history. A similar response came from Beijing in the aftermath of the induction of Sikkim into India in 1975,” he said comparing Beijing’s strong rejection of the Indian position on Doklam with its criticism of Sikkim’s merger with India in 1975.
India had integrated Sikkim on May 16, 1975 but China rejected the integration and finally recognised Sikkim as a part of India in 2003 during the visit of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Beijing. However, following the recent standoff, China had raked up the issue of Sikkim indicating that it might reverse the recognition it bestowed in 2003.
Mr. Menon, addressing the Indian Association of Foreign Affairs Correspondents in Delhi, said India’s response was justified as it concerned its strategic interests. But he played down the hyper-nationalist tone of the English media in Beijing which had repeatedly targeted India and reminded Delhi of the humiliating defeat of 1962.