The foundation stone of the peaceful resolution to the Doklam Standoff was laid in a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping, away from the G-20 conference in Hamburg. This claim is made by is Strategic affairs expert Nitin A. Gokhale in his new book. Nitin A. Gokhale has revealed in his book ‘Securing India The Modi Way’ that it was this that happened after Modi went to Xi in the G-20 conference. Gokhale’s book was released by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday.
According to the book, “If the Indian diplomats who were witness to the meeting are to be believed, the Chinese team was surprised after the unannounced meeting of PM Modi with Xi Jinping.” According to the book, during a brief visit, Modi advised Xi that India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Chinese Counterpart, State Counselor Yang Jiichi should take the lead in discussing a possible resolution to Doklam dispute.
It is said that PM Modi said to Xi, “Our strategic relationship is bigger than these small issues like Doklam.”
15 days after this meeting, Doval went to Beijing for the proposed BRICS NSA meeting. Meanwhile, the Indian team held 38 meetings in China under the leadership of Ambassador Vijay Gokhale. The Indian team was getting clear instructions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, NSA Doval and Foreign Secretary S. Jayashankar. According to the book, ‘The instructions were given to the party that India will be unwavering on the field and rational in diplomacy.’ According to the book, after the strong preparation of India at the BRICS level, China couldn’t not afford the risk of India’s absence at the BRICS summit. Finally, China decided to stop the road construction work in the Doklam area, the main reason behind Doklam Standoff.
Both India and China did not provide any information about the Doklam issue or what led to the peaceful resolution in their statements after resolving the dispute. It has also been revealed in the book that this dispute began in the last days of May and it can be divided into three phases. From the end of May to June 25, there existed a deadlock between India and China. Between June 26 and August 14, there was an eyeball to eyeball confrontation between the two armies and from August 15 to August 28 reached its peak. According to the book, on June 16, a light vehicle and 9 heavy vehicles laden with equipment reached the area, and it led to minor scuffles between soldiers from both the sides. Soon after this, a patrol team of the Royal Bhutan Army reached there and there was a minor clash with the Chinese army.
On 17th June, Chinese Bulldozers started construction work on the temporary road and the Indian army asked the Chinese officials to stop the construction work. The road construction work did not stop till 18th June. Indian Army got orders to stop the construction work, after which the Indian Army created a human chain to stop it.
It has also been reported in the book that on June 20, A Major General Officer level meeting took place between Indian and China. But it ended in a stalemate and tension between the two sides wasn’t resolved, in fact it reached its peak on August 14. The dispute finally ended by the smart diplomatic manuevers of PM Modi and Xi Jinping’s reciprocation of it on August 28.