Doklam border issue: A weapon for Chinese President ahead of Communist National meet

An elite communist, Xi has successfully silenced many commoners within the party, but still fears substantial threats from Shanghai and Beijing factions led by Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, repsectively

Published: 10th July 2017 02:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th July 2017 09:27 AM   |  A+A-

Chinese President Xi Jinping | File Photo | AP

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Indian Army is ready for the long haul in holding onto its position in the Doklam area near the Bhutan tri-junction, notwithstanding China ratcheting up rhetoric.

Indian soldiers deployed in the area have pitched in tents, in an indication they are unlikely to retreat unless there was reciprocity from China in ending the face-off. A steady line of supplies is being maintained for soldiers, officials said, signalling that the Indian Army is not going to wilt under pressure.

However, analysts feel Chinese President Xi Jinping will keep the issue alive till he decimates adversaries within his party before its 19th National Congress, likely to be held in early November.

An elite communist, Xi has successfully silenced many commoners within the party, but still fears substantial threats from Shanghai and Beijing factions led by Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, repsectively.

Analysts say Xi is trying to solidify his position by neutralising the influence of his former mentor Hu’s faction in the politburo, and the recent flare-up at tri-junction provides him with the much-needed opportunity to silence them.

The discomfort within Xi’s party and among commoners shows that Chinese aggression is not accidental. They are increasingly facing threats on a number of fronts. Global ratings by investment agencies have not been kind to the ‘economic superpower’ in the recent past.

Their banks are sitting on piles of debt, threatening a financial crisis. Adding to woes, India has refused to play ball in soft power diplomacy, and even skipped the Belt and Road project. More importantly, Beijing’s open support to rogue nations like North Korea and Pakistan has also been coming under increased global criticism.

China had transgressed into Doklam plateau in the past by occupying Jampheri Ridge. Now, they are trying to move further by building a road in the ridgeline, which India and Bhutan have refused to acknowledge as Chinese territory.

A senior official described Chumbi Valley as a dagger thrust into India, with the tip at the tri-junction, thus posing a threat to the Siliguri Corridor, not essentially by capturing or blocking it, but by interfering with free movement by bringing it within the range of long-range artillery guns.

Meanwhile, Beijing’s media mouthpiece floated a dangerous possibility of ‘Chinese interference in Kashmir’.

“India has exposed itself to China’s interference in Jammu & Kashmir by sending Indian troops to disrupt Chinese soldiers from building a road in the Donglang. If Pakistan requests, “a third country” can dispatch soldiers to the Valley,” said the article in Global Times.

(With agency inputs)

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