China and India Pull Back on Doklam, Choosing to Fight Another Day

The abrupt hostilities that flared this summer at the tri-border region of Bhutan, China and India were settled peacefully. Harsh V Pant, professor of international relations, credits the BRICS summit meeting – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – for hastening agreement. “It would have been difficult for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to justify his presence at the summit with Indian and Chinese forces facing off each other at the border,” he writes. “And for Chinese President Xi Jinping, keen on presenting himself as a global statesman, India’s absence would have meant the beginning of the end of BRICS, tarnishing Xi’s reputation in the run-up to the critical Communist Party Congress in October.” For the long term, China and India have agreed to strengthen border-defense agreements and pursue closer communications between military personnel. Despite peaceful resolution, challenges remain with nationalistic tendencies displayed by leadership of both nations, unresolved border disputes, ongoing disagreement over policies regarding terrorism and Pakistan, and response to unsettling US disengagement from the region. In terms of GDP, China dominates the BRICS grouping. Still, Pant concludes that India relies on BRICS to counter the consequences of China’s rise. – YaleGlobal