Indian troop withdrawal a result of Chinese military, diplomatic pressure: expert

India has agreed to pull back its troops from Dong Lang, a border area in the Himalayas, following a two-month military standoff with China, which began when the Indian troops moved in to prevent the Chinese military from building a road into the territory claimed by Bhutan, India's close ally.

In an interview with the Sino-US.com, Wang Xiaowei, a research fellow at the Charhar Institute, a think tank committed to promoting progress in China's foreign policies and the development of international relations in an orderly manner, shed light on the reasons behind the withdrawal of the Indian troops.

The withdrawal of the Indian troops from the Dong Lang area is a result of China's heightened military and political pressures, according to Wang, who also attributed the pullout to the deterioration of India's internal problems including the requests from some states to acquire independent statehood, the public fears over the crucial banking and monetary reforms and the chronic threats from the anti-government armed forces and the opposition parties.

Wang believed the withdrawal of troops from the border area was the "best option" for India, saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pervious judgment that China does not dare to go to war with India ahead of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in fall and at a time of unfinished military reform proved to be wrong.

In Wang's opinion, the most important reason behind India's military retreat lies in the 9th BRICS Summit which will be held in the Chinese city of Xiamen next month, which India wants to use to strengthen trade ties with the participating countries. "Under the circumstances, making an agreement with China to withdraw troops would be helpful for India to get some benefits at the summit," said Wang.

India's external affairs ministry has announced that Prime Minister Modi will visit Xiamen during September 3-5 to attend the 9th BRICS Summit, which is described by many Chinese diplomats and defense experts as a "diplomatic victory" for China.

However, many Indian media organizations ran articles hyping up Indian's bravery of speaking for Bhutan in the face of stronger China. In light of it, Wang did not eliminate the possibility of India redeploying its forces in the border area after it has tested the bottom line of China in the territorial face-off.

Wang speculated that China might make some promises in talks with India in exchange for the neighbor's agreement to pull back the armed forces from the border areas. Wang continued to say that India has long been vigilant about China's massive infrastructure construction near its borders.

Wang also said that Russia, a member country of the BRICS, contributed to the diplomatic and peaceful solution to the impasse between China and India.

A reflection of China-US rivalry

The Himalayan border face-off between China and India could be interpreted as the strategic game between China and the US, according the Wang.

India actually sees the US as its backer and a confrontation between the two big developing countries could benefit the US, noted Wang.

Over the recent years, India has enhanced ties with the US, with a purpose of gaining the American support in its fight for the permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.
 


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