Why China blinked in Doklam standoff

October 18, 2017 By Vinod Saighal, The Statesman

What really compelled China to de-escalate in Doklam? First, let us examine the reasons that have been cited in the public domain since the pull-back some weeks ago. After weeks of raising the decibel level the government in Beijing realised that building the road up to the Jampheri Ridge was considered an existential threat by India due to its proximity to the Siliguri corridor and hence India was unlikely to budge; the coming 19th CPC meeting in November 2017 later on in the year and the BRICS meeting at Xiamen.

In the last case it is possible that Putin advised his counterpart that without the participation of the Indian Prime Minister the summit would not measure up to expectation, considerably embarrassing the host country. Since Russia had maintained studied silence throughout the Doklam confrontation, the Russian President’s advice would have been taken in good faith. Had BRICS become a damp squib it would have hurt the Chinese President’s image.[Source]

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