Monday, August 28, 2017

No War On the Doklam Plateau Today

The confrontation between India and China has eased off with an agreement to pull troops back from the confrontation over Chinese road building in territory in or near Bhutan (depending on where you draw the line):

India and China have agreed to an "expeditious disengagement" of troops in a disputed border area where their soldiers have been locked in a stand-off for more than two months, India's foreign ministry said on Monday.

That's a relief. Although the basic problem persists, of course.

No word on whether it was simultaneous or whether one side pulled back first. Which might be brought up later to prove which side "won."

And at some point when attention is elsewhere, China can resume road building and perhaps essentially win the dispute while India is far away.

UPDATE: More. China decided not to escalate to shooting to resolve the territorial dispute in their favor.

I don't think this means small countries can't win territorial disputes with China by having enough military power on the scene of a dispute to force China to risk a battle despite having insufficient forces to win a war with China.

By forcing a battle, even one it will lose, a smaller country with a dispute with China forces China to risk wider repercussions to trade and perhaps a risk of war if other states, especially America, intervene.

And it could spur more military moves by other potential targets.

UPDATE: China claims victory, with an interesting announcement that India withdrew troops, strongly implying that India pulled back first.

Perhaps India did, but the agreement was for mutual disengagement.

China had the advantage if the fight escalated to general war. But apparently China didn't even want a significant border clash.