Temporary peace in Doklam

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From the sketchy news reports of the recent trip of national security adviser Ajit Doval to Beijing to attend the meeting of NSAs of Brics countries to prepare for the summit of the grouping in September, it appears that the belligerence of the Chinese side in the context of the six-week long Doklam military standoff with India has been put away. The intemperate paper of the Chinese Communist Party, Global Times, whose war-mongering tone in dealing with India’s strategic concerns regarding road-building by the Chinese Army in Bhutan’s territory prepared Indians to be ready for the imminence of possible conflict, held back on its inflammatory ways.
Mr Doval did interact with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, though details are not yet out. Chinese President Xi Jinping also interacted with the assembled NSAs and spoke of their contribution in enhancing “mutual trust and cooperation”. The Indian NSA later said some “vital” issues were discussed in this interaction. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the Brics summit. These appear to be positive signs while resolution of the military standoff is awaited. Since media outfits like Global Times were allowed a free run to go at India, some concern appears to be surfacing in China that unrestrained ultra-nationalistic coverage of the Doklam standoff is becoming a domestic issue in China months before the 19th Congress of the Communist Party. Beijing may seek to neutralise the hawkish stance by highlighting economic cooperation amongst the Brics bloc.

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