China Won’t be Clear Winner After War With India Over Doklam, Says Government Assessment

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As the possibility of full-fledged military confrontation with China looms large following ongoing standoff in Doklam, Indian government’s assessment is that war won’t deliver any major gain for Beijing and would result in heavy casualties. The war will also dent the image of China as the preeminent Asian power and rising challenger to the United States, observed the government assessment.

According to a report published in Times of India, New Delhi believes the rising tension in Doklam and at India-China border areas won’t translate into a tangible territorial or strategic advantage for Beijing. If China fails to emerge as a clear winner after a war, it will put a question mark Beijing’s claim of having one of most power full militaries, assesses the government. This will also have an impact on a crucial Communist Party congress due in September and a leadership conclave that precedes it.

While no one has upper hand in disputed areas along the 3,488km India-China border, the New Delhi has a distinct military advantage at Doklam. The assessment in top government circles is that India lags behind China in border infrastructure but a full-fledged war could mean heavy toll for both armies. With halting road construction by China’s PLA in Doklam, the Indian Army has well prevented the Chinese forces from gaining a vantage point over the road link from Bagdogra to Guwahati as well as Siliguri, the report said quoting sources.

Economic relations and a long tradition of diplomatic exchanges could be two of the major factors that would prevent China to go for a military confrontation with India. However, some of the analysts believe that the scuffle between Indian and Chinese troops near Pangong Lake on the Ladakh border hints China may act on its threats of war.

India and China have been locked in a face-off in the Doklam area for the last 50 days after Indian troops stopped the Chinese People’s Liberation Army from building a road in the area. Doklam is disputed between China and Bhutan, whose ally India backs Bhutan in its claims over the region. While Beijing wants India to withdraw troops from Doklam, New Delhi is for a simultaneous pullback of both Indian and Chinese troops.