Recently after a tense two-month standoff, India has withdrawn its troops from China’s Donglang, also known as Doklam. The standoff had strained relations between the two countries, to the point that angry netizens took to the web, all denouncing the other country on social media. However, what exactly happened during the standoff, and why did it occur?
In June, Indian border guards crossed the boundary into a Chinese-controlled area claimed by Bhutan due to a road under construction that would have given China access to the Siliguri corridor, or “Chicken’s Neck” – a small strip of land connecting Northeastern India with the rest of India. Photos published by the Chinese Foreign Ministry showed Indian troops and machinery on the Chinese side of the border. China lodged diplomatic protests, and a tense two-month standoff began.
Over the course of two months, the two countries engaged in a sort of “cold war” with the other, with neither side actually opening fire on the other, and instead engaging in a war of words, with Xinhua News releasing a controversial video attacking India. Both sides did, however, increase troop numbers at the border, and China staged large-scale military exercises, likely in an attempt to showcase its ability to defend against India in case of war.
In August, a melee between Chinese and Indian border troops broke out at Ladakh, which, according to ABC News, occurred due to Chinese troops losing their way due to bad weather. A number of troops from both sides sustained injuries, though no fatalities were reported.
Although the past two months have been tense for both countries, the situation has now been defused, and both countries can now focus on other issues.
China and India have had a long history of border disputes, and even fought a war in 1962 over disputed territory. India lost the war, and the disputed area, the Aksai Chin, came under the control of China.
In 1967, two additional clashes occurred in Nathu La and Chola, this time with the Chinese being beaten back.