India and china appear to be on a collision course at Doklam, located on the tri-junction between India, Tibet, and Bhutan. The incident that ignited the face-off started when the India army objected to the Chinese attempt to construct a road close to Doklam which is claimed by Bhutan. The incident became a flash point as both China and India massed almost 1000 troops each in an eyeball to eyeball confrontation.

Chinese state media threatened India with war as China claimed Doklam to be part of China as per an 1890 treaty between the British rulers and Tibet.

The Indian side did not agree and beefed up troops and guns. The Chinese stopped the construction but warned India a repeat of 1962.

At that time an unprepared Indian army had been pushed back. India has refused to budge, and the defense minister announced that India was different from 1962. The army chief General Bipin Rawat also said that India was ready for a two front war meaning with Pakistan and China. AL Jazeera News has reported this.

China beset with problems

China is a belligerent nation, and it has claimed the entire SC Sea and used North Korea as a proxy to needle the USA. China is also facing restive population in Tibet and in Xinjiang region the Muslim Uighurs are up in arms against China.

Historically China only respects force and though China is making a lot of threatening noises the chances that it will go to war with India are minimal.

Economic considerations

Any border war with India will further strengthen the American strategic partnership with India, and that is not to China‘s liking. China is already facing US troops in South Korea, and the US Navy is carrying out “freedom of navigation” exercises in the SC Sea. It has a border dispute with Vietnam with which it fought a war in 1983.

The Chinese also have a massive trade relationship with India of 70 billion dollars which is heavily weighted in their favor. Many Chinese companies are depended on India to generate a major portion of their sales.

The Chinese economy is slowing down, and a conflict will result in a huge adverse economic impact on China.

Military option

Militarily also the Chinese are on a sticky wicket and India has the high ground in the area. China cannot talk of nuclear blackmail as well as the Indians have developed ICBM capability and can hit most parts of China. In such a scenario the dragon can ill afford a war with India.

With the entire area population against China, the Chinese may well end up with a result they have not bargained for. The Indian security advisor is in China, but Xi cannot back down for loss of face. The People’s Congress is also to take place so Xi cannot show himself a weak leader, but with India not backing down the road construction is stopped.