Tuesday January 23, 2018
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Indian restaurants at risk if Britain remained in EU: Priti Patel

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New Delhi: Priti Patel, UK employment minister, who is in favor of Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) used country’s love for Indian food, dubbed curry, to make her case stronger.

Indian-origin minister said membership of the EU meant unmanageable levels of European migration which led to Indian chefs being denied visas.

“There are over 12,000 Indian restaurants in the UK. But the future of this sector is under pressure and at risk while we remain in the EU,” Patel said at a gathering in London yesterday to mark Commonwealth Day.

The 43-year-old is one of the leaders of “Vote Leave” campaign. The British public, on 23rd, will vote on Britain’s future in or out of the EU.

“Curry is often voted Britain’s favorite meal. But there are fewer and fewer chefs able to come into the UK to cook curry dishes and train the next generation of chefs. The curry industry supports 70,000 jobs and is worth more than 3 billion pounds to our economy,” she said.

Specifically mentioning the problems of Indian students, sportsmen and women and priests, she stated that they have been blocked from the UK due to rules that “discriminate against our Commonwealth friends”.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s Indian Diaspora Champion, Patel said: “As the Prime Minister’s UK-India Diaspora Champion, I have heard the heartbreaking stories from families up and down the country where relatives from India who they have not seen for years have been unable to come here for a special occasion.

“I have also seen the cases of Kabaddi players struggling to get permission to play in the UK and showcase their sport. Temples and Gurdwaras face uphill battles securing visas for priests.

Students who want to study in the UK? Some of the brightest and best from around the Commonwealth are being put off…How can it be right that our membership of the EU can lead to, sportsmen, chefs, and students facing restrictions, and families being left divided? By voting to leave the EU, we can take back control over our borders and immigration policy.”

She also pointed the removal of barriers to trade with “India, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and all other Commonwealth countries” if it voted to leave the EU.

“The vested interests of other EU countries and the trade barriers, rules, and restrictions the EU imposes stand in the way of new economic opportunities with the Commonwealth. In the referendum on June 23, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to safeguard the future of our country,” she said. (Inputs from zeenews.india.com)

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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.