New Delhi: A day after China and India ended their worst military confrontation in decades, sources said the government negotiated the settlement from a position of strength because the army had enveloped the entire area and "had made enough provisions to neutralize the Chinese forces".
- Doklam Plateau confrontation ended yesterday after 70-day standoff
- Army chief said the area was enveloped to ensure max damage: sources
- India, China pulled back troops to end conflict at Sikkim border
The location of the hotspot was advantageous for India because it can move its soldiers faster to the border near Sikkim than China.
Yesterday, China and India withdrew troops from the remote Doklam Plateau that is disputed territory for China and Bhutan. India backs Bhutan's claim and in mid-June, its soldiers crossed the border at Sikkim to stop China from building a new road which India saw as a serious challenge to the security of its northeastern states.
Government sources who cannot be named on account of the sensitivity of the situation said that there is wide acknowledgement of "the sheer resilience of our armed forces who refused to give up and had strategically surrounded" the flashpoint, located at least 10,000 feet above sea level. They also said that Army Chief Bipin Rawat was "extremely confident of ensuring maximum damage" which helped in getting China to agree to a settlement reached through diplomatic talks.
As China tiraded against India every day, warning of military escalation and of a repeat of the humiliating defeat of India by Beijing in 1962, the government kept its calm, insisted that both sides should withdraw their troops and said it had confidence in diplomatic dialogue.
When asked today if China has abandoned its plans to build the road in Doklam, a government spokesperson said "We will make an overall assessment of the weather conditions and all related factors, and according to the actual circumstances complete construction plans." She reiterated that Chinese border troops were continuing their patrols in the area that is disputed by Beijing and Bhutan.
The Doklam crisis ended barely a week ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's trip to china for a summit of BRICS which apart from India and China includes Brazil, Russia and South Africa.