Spotlight: What's behind India's illegal trespassing into China?

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-19 22:17:30|Editor: An
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by Xia Yuanyi

BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese border troops have always been committed to upholding peace and tranquility of the China-India border areas, said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wednesday in response to India's trespassing into the Dong Lang (Doklam) region on June 18.

Spokeswoman Hua Chunying also urged India to abide by current agreements and treaties.

However, up until now, India has not withdrawn its troops and equipment that have encroached into Chinese territory.


Doklam is described as a disputed territory by New Delhi, which is simply untrue.

The Convention Between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet signed by both countries in 1890 delimited the boundary between the Tibet region of China and the Indian state of Sikkim, which confirmed Doklam is Chinese territory. Successive Indian governments have acknowledged the demarcation.

However, it is not really hard to understand why India has abandoned its previous position. India is again using its old bag of tricks.

"Indians have convinced themselves that if they declare a tract of territory to be Indian, it becomes Indian, which is nonsense," said Neville Maxwell, an Australian journalist who was on the ground for the British Daily The Times at the time of the Sino-Indian border conflict in 1962.

Maxwell, in an interview with Xinhua, said India has unilaterally claimed sovereignty over pieces of land along its northeastern borders, and now Doklam is next.

India has attempted to justify its incursion on the pretext of "protecting Bhutan," arguing that Doklam is Bhutanese territory.

The fact is that the Bhutanese authorities have clearly told Chinese officials that Doklam is not Bhutan's territory and expressed confusion by India's actions.

As a third party, India has no right to interfere in or impede boundary talks between China and Bhutan, nor does it have the right to make territorial claims on Bhutan's behalf.

India's intrusion into Chinese territory under the pretext of protecting Bhutan has not only violated China's territorial sovereignty, but also challenged Bhutan's independence.

Obviously, India is not only trying to change the status quo but also misrepresent the truth for its own unspoken intentions.


Wang Jiangyu, an associate professor of law at National University of Singapore, said India is pursuing a hegemony strategy in the region, provoking complaints from smaller countries in South Asia, which won't dare voice their anger, fearing retaliation from India.

According to Vassily Kashin, a senior research fellow at Russia's National Research University, India's illegal trespassing into Chinese territory serves two purposes.

First, India is struggling to emerge from the shadow of China, a rising power to its north. The professor said the rapid pace of many Chinese projects throughout Asia, in particular the Belt and Road Initiative, has triggered concern of China's regional and global influence. India wrongly believes China has invaded its traditional region of influence.

Second, India hopes to maintain its stronghold in the region, Kashin said. Therefore, it needs to hide its anxiety in the face of China's rise and prove itself with resolute action. That partly explains why Indian troops recklessly trespassed into Doklam.

The aim of concocting territorial disputes is to flex its muscles against its smaller neighbors, including Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, countries where China's presence has grown in recent years.

The Chinese have long abided by the wisdom of the ancient philosopher Confucius, who said that anyone looking to help himself shall also help others. Unfortunately, India has chosen instead to hurt, not help, its neighbors.