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India-Mauritius bilateral relations: Highlights in 2015

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Anup Kumar Mudgal, Indian high commissioner to Mauritius, on the occasion of India’s 67th Republic day talked about the progress and improvement taking place in the bilateral relations of India-Mauritius since the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country last year.

Here are some of the important points from his talk on this matter.

  • There was an increase in the visits of high-level political level leaders from both the countries. Sushma Swaraj visited Mauritius on the 180th Anniversary of the arrival of Indian Indentured Labourers. PM Modi followed her on the occasion of Mauritian National Day.
  • Both countries came together to have a joint commissioning of the offshore patrol vessel Barracuda.
  • The construction of World Hindi secretariat started.
  • Agreements related to Ocean Economy, health, and culture, among others took place.
  • Mauritian PM Sir Anerood Jugnauth participated in the main event on 21 June at SVICC and launched a Special IDY Commemorative Cover and he also visited India in October.
  • Mauritius held the Festival of India in March which gave the glimpse of Indian art and culture.
  • Mauritius also hosted events like International Ramayana Conference, 3rd World Urdu Conference, International Regional Hindi Conference, Antarashtriya Bhojpuri Mahotsav, and International Conference on Tamil Diaspora.
  • Two Mauritian Hindi scholars were given the prestigious award, “Vishwa Hindi Samman” at the World Hindi Conference in Bhopal in 2015.
  • Mauritius was included in the list of the country whose nationals are entitled to receive E-tourist visa.

He further hoped that bilateral relations between both the countries get stronger than ever this year. He said that the government expands to diversify the economic and commercial relationships. and continue the trend of political and cultural visits, intellectual seminars. He said he believes that India and Mauritius relationship is based on the people to people contact.

India and Mauritius have  historic ties and the country has a lot of Indian influence in terms of culture, religion and  other areas. 48 percent of the population in Mauritius is Hindu.(Inputs and Image from-defimedia.info)

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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.