Friday, August 11, 2017
Bhutan’s neutral stance embarrasses India
Despite India's continuous pressure on Bhutan to openly take India's side, Thimpu's passive resistance has embarrassed New Delhi.
Indian media reported Thursday that anonymous sources in the Bhutanese government told the media to refer to the Bhutanese foreign ministry's June 29 statement for its position on the Doklam issue. The statement said the construction of the road in Doklam was a direct violation of agreements.
A few days ago, a Chinese diplomat told a visiting Indian media delegation that Bhutan had conveyed to China through diplomatic channels that the area of the standoff is not its territory.
Due to the fact that Indian troops crossed into Chinese territory on the ground to "protect Bhutan," Thimpu's stance is catastrophic for India.
India has stationed troops in Bhutan and controls the country's defense and foreign affairs.
Senior Bhutanese officials have never openly said the area of standoff is Bhutan's territory and never acknowledged they requested India's intervention in China's road construction. New Delhi took the liberty to speak on Bhutan's behalf.
On Friday, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met her Bhutanese counterpart Damcho Dorji. Dorji said "we hope the situation in Doklam will be resolved peacefully and amicably."
Bhutan obviously wants to remain neutral in the standoff. It does not appear like a country that had been "invaded" by China and desperately wants India's protection.
India is bullying Bhutan and its fabricated excuses are groundless in front of international laws.
India's overall strength is far from that of a major power, but its hegemonic ambitions are world-class. It forcefully annexed Sikkim in the past and continues to violate Bhutan's sovereign rights and to interfere in Nepal's foreign policies. Because India has always been courted by the West, many of its practices were tolerated by the US and its allies.
India's regional hegemonism has expanded to harm China's national interests, forcing Beijing to take action. China has advocated that all countries are equal despite their size. It's necessary for China to spread this initiative to South Asia, which will surely be welcomed by countries under India's pressure. China is also capable of influencing how India is perceived by these countries. It's time for India's hegemony in South Asia to come to an end.
China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. We can also condemn India's violation of South Asian nations' sovereign rights through UN platforms. The Doklam standoff is just the start. The world needs to see what India has done in South Asia.