As Arun Jaitley said that India is not the India of 1962. We have come a long way and as a matured democracy, we know how to handle volatile situations with caution and responsibility. With focus on Doklam, India has garnered global praise on handling China’s aggression at the Doklam plateau.
But post-reconciliation, India is stepping up its defense preparedness. Naval strength is getting revamped and upgraded through strategic alliances and technology upgradeness. The unprecedented Doklam standoff avowed was indeed a wakeup call for India. Troops of India and China were locked in a bitter standoff in Doklam since June 16 after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area.
With an eye on military expansion, India wants to develop the strategically located Andaman and Nicobar islands. Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the Andaman and Nicobar tri-services Command on a two-day visit just after assuming office in September.
It has been learnt that this is a part of the central government’s Act East policy. The Central government has been working on expanding the military effectiveness of its outpost at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, including the creation of military infrastructure for greater naval presence in the islands that dominates the strategically important Malacca Strait.
Beijing’s bullying behaviour underscores how rattled it has become of the Modi government’s pro-active assertion of Indian interests. India’s tough and consistent stand in the standoff also helped in putting international pressure on China which was made to understand that India will not back off without its demands being accepted.
India also backed out from China’s ambitious and aggressive One-Belt-One-Road Initiative which passes through territory claimed by India (PoK). India was one of the few major powers that did not attend the OBOR Summit and has repeatedly highlighted the actual expansionist design behind the summit.
China continues to support Pakistan. New Delhi, on the other hand, has been quietly forging linkages with the likes of Japan and Germany to counter Chinese grand strategy. Another factor which may have made the insecure Chinese, anxious is the growing bonhomie between Modi and Trump. The Modi government’s policy of standing up to China and of working with like-minded countries in the region is the only way for New Delhi to preserve its equities at a time when China’s rise is upending a number of assumptions of global politics. In a way, India has changed the rules of the game.