5

Refer to this, and this report.

enter image description here

This is a territorial dispute between Bhutan and China. According to the map, Doklam is not near the Indian border.

There is no hard evidence that,

  1. Bhutan requested India to act on their behalf,
  2. India-Bhutan friendship treaty warrants such move by India,
  3. why can't Bhutan handle its own foreign policy.

All we find are a bunch of Indian newspapers spreading such news, which is not echoed in other international media.

Why has India sent troops there?

There is also confusion regarding the location where Indian troops are right now. There are two different pictures seen on the Internet:

One is the following:

enter image description here

Another is the following:

enter image description here

Neither of them shows Doklam as the place where the chaos is taking place.

Where are the Indian troops really?

  • 1
    According to this detailed source: thediplomat.com/2017/07/… The current dispute is not actually in what is usually (on your map for instance) referred as the Doklam Plateau, but further south, near the trijunction point. – Evargalo Aug 11 '17 at 8:40
  • The dispute is China is trying to build road on a territory disputed with Bhutan. Bhutan has security pact with India and therefore India has obligations to interfere on Bhutan's behalf as Bhutan has no army and will be swallowed whole by China within minutes if left on its own. Bhutanese people know what happened with their Tibetan brothers and are thus rightly wary of Chinese intentions. – Rolen Koh Aug 21 '17 at 8:30
  • @RolenKoh, Why can't Bhutan have an army in the first place? Doesn't Bhutan know what happened to Sikkim and Hyderabad? Besides, isn't that a hypocrisy to meddle in neighbor's internal matters just like what India did in Sri Lanka and Nepal, and we saw the consequence? – user4514 Aug 21 '17 at 10:38
  • 1
    @anonymous : Sikkim? Sikkim people voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining Indian union and abolishing monarchy. In Hyderabad, the Nizam's forces were involved in brutal persecution of Hindus. Besides Doklam is not internal affair of Bhutan. – Rolen Koh Aug 22 '17 at 5:03
  • @RolenKoh, Yeah. Right! bbc.com/news/magazine-24159594 – user4514 Aug 22 '17 at 20:30
15

As this article explains, Doklam sit at the intersection of India, China, and Bhutan.

Starting in June, a tiny piece of strategically important and until-now obscure Himalayan territory sitting at the intersection of India, China, and Bhutan became the site of the one of the most serious border standoffs between New Delhi and Beijing in three decades. As of July 12, 2017, the standoff continues, with no end in sight. Scores — potentially hundreds — of Indian Army and Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops remain at an impasse near the Doka La pass in Doklam. Nearly one month after the standoff began, details about the geography of the area and the motivations of all three governments involved remain murky.

Basically, the disputed started when the Chinese People’s Liberation Army constructed a road near the Indian border on a piece of territory that is disputed between China and Bhutan, so India sent troops to prevent the PLA from proceeding. This sparked the Indian Army to respond.

Though I’ll elaborate in successive articles, the dispute began in early June when Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) engineers began constructing a road near the Indian border on a piece of territory disputed between China and Bhutan. India, perceiving this as an unacceptable change to the status quo with potentially serious strategic ramifications, crossed a settled and undisputed international border with its troops to block the PLA contingent from proceeding.

Also, India supports Bhutan's claim, so the they potentially sent troops as a show of support for them.

India has long supported Bhutan’s claim and, according to a release by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on the ongoing standoff, reached an agreement in 2012 with China that existing “tri-junction boundary points” between the two countries and any third party would be “finalized in consultation with the concerned countries.”

[ ... ]

India and Bhutan have a special relationship, with New Delhi exercising considerable influence over the country’s foreign and defense policy historically and to this day; the two countries’ 1949 treaty of friendship was updated in 2007 by the two sides to give Thimphu additional autonomy in its foreign and security policy.

* All emphasis mine

  • 1
    As a complement, according to this article, Bhutan has actually explicitely required the intervention of India. : theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/06/… – Evargalo Aug 11 '17 at 8:13
  • 2
    "India sent troops to prevent the PLA from proceeding. This sparked the Indian Army to respond." I get a feeling some terms are mixed up here? The Indian Army was sparked to respond by India sending troops doesn't seem right... – Erik Aug 24 '17 at 11:35
  • Doklam sit at the intersection of India, China, and Bhutan --- not true. See themap. – user4514 Aug 26 '17 at 4:14
4

Your presentation of the dispute is incorrect and misleading. The plateau where China was building a road and where China and India have been deploying troops recently is not the Doklam Plateau but a smaller area of 89 sqKM south of the trijunction point. I've circled it on your map.

As you can see, this area is neighbouring India.

enter image description here (sources:

http://thediplomat.com/2017/07/the-political-geography-of-the-india-china-crisis-at-doklam/

http://vatsrohit.blogspot.fr/2017/07/doklam-plateau-india-bhutan-and-china.html)

As per India's legitimacy to intervene there, according to this article it has been answering a request for assistance by Bhutan in accordance of their frienship treaty. So the legality of India's intervention would only depend on your opinion about who owns that plateau, China or Bhutan. (According to your map, that seems to be Bhutan!)

However, this other source claims that Bhutan didn't request any interference from India.

  • There is no hard evidence that: (1) Bhutan requested India to act on their behalf, (2) India-Bhutan friendship treaty warrants such move by India, (3) why can't Bhutan handle its own foreign policy. All we find are a bunch of Indian newspapers spreading such news. And, those Western newspapers are acting on behalf of India, as India is considered to be the so called 'largest democracy'. – user4514 Aug 11 '17 at 16:28
  • 1
    @anonymous I do not read Bhutanese to check Timphu's local press, but I am pretty sure that if the Bhutanese government had protested against an invasion by India, the news would have found its way even to the western-eveil-biased-press. – Evargalo Aug 23 '17 at 21:59
  • What if Bhutan lost the right to protest through 1948's Indo-Bhutan Friendship (air quoted) treaty? They are scared of a blockade like this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Nepal_blockade – user4514 Aug 23 '17 at 22:31
  • Yes, the Guardian report does say that the Bhutanese requested Indian help. But I doubt it. Nobody else corroborated that. The Bhutanese did object to the Chinese road construction, but they were brushed off. The next day, Indians went in. Bhutan isn't complaining. – Uday Reddy Aug 24 '17 at 0:02
  • I've edited with a new source that shares anonymous and Uday Reddy 's concerns. If any of you can provide better materials, don't why away from providing links... – Evargalo Aug 24 '17 at 9:57

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