Washington, March 31, 2017: “I am the daughter of Indian parents, who reminded my brothers, my sister and me everyday how blessed we were to live in this country. The truth is, I have seen so many similarities between the Israeli culture and the Indian culture,” Nikki Haley said in her address to Americans Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference on Tuesday.
45-year-old Indian-origin US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had talked about the “many similarities” Indian and Israeli cultures share.
“We’re very close-knit. We love our families. We have a strong work ethic. We believe in professionalism and philanthropy, and giving back. So that’s all the good things. We’re aggressive. We’re stubborn. And we don’t back down from a fight,” Haley had said in response to a question, mentioned PTI.
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She has also talked about Iran, “It’s concerning. And the reason it’s concerning is because when the Iran deal took place, all it did was empower Iran, and it empowered Russia. And it emboldened Iran to feel like they could get away with more”.
“It is – you can put sanctions on a country. To take sanctions away, it’s very hard to go back and put sanctions back on. So what we have said is, we’re going to watch them like a hawk. We’re going to make sure that every single thing they do is watched, processed and dealt with,” she said.
On the matter of threats to peace and security, Haley had said the US will not take its number one democratic friend in the Middle East and beat up on them. “I think what you’re seeing is they’re all backing up a little bit. The Israel-bashing is not as loud. They didn’t know exactly what I meant outside of giving the speech, so we showed them. So when they decided to try and put a Palestinian in one of the highest positions that had ever been given at the UN, we said no and we had him booted out,” she had said.
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 about the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.
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.
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 boarders, making them vulnerable to attacks.
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 withrew 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.
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 awayfrom 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 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.