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Climate change accord could make India world leader

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Paris: The successful conclusion of the Climate Change Summit here will offer India an opportunity to position itself as the leader of the developing world. If, however, India does not agree with the rest of the world to consider the outcome to be worthwhile, the possibility of a global deal will quickly collapse.

This was observed at a conference here on the sidelines of COP 21 on Monday evening.

Three NGOS based in Brussels – South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF), Europe India Chamber of Commerce (EICC), and Eurochambres – brought together in the French capital thinkers and policy-makers for the one-day meeting entitled “Reinventing Rio”.

Paul Casaca, executive director of SADF, said the objective of the meeting was to lobby for increased EU-India cooperation and collaboration on a financial, environment and technological level.

“As we are witnessing the 21 Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, we think it is necessary to take this opportunity to assess the strategy intended to guide us through this process and come up with the adjustments that are necessary,” he said.

In particular, the debate addressed a more energy-efficient form of industrialisation and urbanisation and consequently promote renewable energies and green technologies therein.

A speaker said as the energy needs of India continued to grow, it was important that India invested in efficient energy infrastructure in ways that minimised environmental impacts.

Technological and business innovation, scientific cooperation, research, development and deployment of environmentally-friendly technologies and products, open trade, and sound regulatory frameworks were needed to deliver solutions for sustainable growth, said Dr. Rajendra Shende, chairman of TERRE Policy Centre and former director at the UN Environment Programme.

“India needs to see that historic emitters are going to make large contributions and see that they can still continue to emit on the track that they are on in order to sign the agreement,” he said.

Another speaker said India needed financing support, not money per se, but cheaper financing. One reason India’s renewable energy (RE) appeared more expensive than of some other countries is the high cost of capital. Funding for RE projects in the EU was often at half the rate.

It was observed that India was not opposed to signing a legally binding agreement for all countries, but it would only consider the agreement if differential responsibilities played a strong role in the text.

The conclusions and recommendations of the meeting would be highlighted in the COP21 Conference through various channels, noted Sunil Prasad, Secretary General of the Europe India Chamber of Commerce.(ians)

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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.