In June 2017, the world witnessed a significant standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies, with Yadong, a Chinese town located between Sikkim and Bhutan, at the center of the controversy. This article delves into the details of the Doklam standoff, shedding light on the historical context, territorial disputes, and the underlying motivations behind the conflict.

Understanding the Geography

Yadong, a small town in China, lies adjacent to the disputed region of Doklam, situated between China and Bhutan. The heart of the issue arises from China's construction of a road connecting Yadong to Doklam, a region claimed by both China and Bhutan. Bhutan expressed strong objection to China's infrastructure development in this contested area, leading to a series of events that escalated the situation.

Bhutan's Cry for Assistance

Concerned about China's encroachment into the disputed territory, Bhutan sought help from India. In response, the Indian army swiftly arrived at the Doklam region, aiming to halt China's road construction. This intervention by India added fuel to the already simmering tension in the area.

A War of Words

Media outlets from both sides reported on the situation extensively. China accused India of illegally obstructing its road construction in what it considered its territory, while India maintained that China was building infrastructure in disputed land. The standoff quickly escalated into a diplomatic crisis, with both countries making their claims and counterclaims in the international arena.

Unveiling China's Historical Claims

China often referenced the 1890 Britain-China Treaty to support its claims over Doklam. Additionally, they pointed to a supposed agreement in 1959 with India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, as evidence of their territorial rights. However, the historical facts tell a different story. Nehru's 1959 letter specifically excluded the tri-junction area from the agreement, raising questions about China's interpretation of the historical record.

The Motive Behind China's Actions

Several key motivations underlie China's actions in the Doklam region. Firstly, by establishing infrastructure in this region, China can easily deploy military forces and ammunition in the area. Secondly, control over Doklam would provide China with the ability to target India's vulnerable Chickens Neck area, a narrow strip of land connecting Northeast India to the mainland, in the event of a conflict. This strategic move underscores China's desire for military dominance in the region.

Disrupting Regional Relationships

China's ambitions extend beyond territorial control; it seeks to disrupt India's relationships with its neighboring countries, including Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and others. By doing so, China aims to position itself as the dominant superpower in Asia.

A Well-Prepared China

China anticipated the reactions of both India and Bhutan and was well-prepared for the ensuing standoff. In interviews on Chinese news channels, officials used provocative language, suggesting the potential for war and accusing Bhutan of being a puppet controlled by New Delhi. These tactics reveal China's intentions to destabilize Bhutan and weaken its ties with India.

China's Aggressive Foreign Policy

The Doklam standoff is not an isolated incident. China has a history of pursuing an aggressive foreign policy, often leading to tensions with neighboring countries. Disputes in the South China Sea, deliberate collisions with Japanese vessels, and border disputes with Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines are examples of China's assertive behavior on the international stage.

Standing Strong Against China

It is imperative for both India and Bhutan not to yield to the pressure exerted by China. While a full-scale war is unlikely due to the economic repercussions it would entail, psychological tactics and diplomatic maneuvering remain essential tools in dealing with China's assertiveness.

A Call for International Support

India should explore similar strategies, such as advocating for Tibet's independence and strengthening ties with countries like Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines, which often face Chinese harassment. Boycotting Chinese products, although challenging, can also be a symbolic gesture to express solidarity with the cause.


The Doklam standoff serves as a stark reminder of China's aggressive foreign policy and its ambitions for regional dominance. In the face of such challenges, India and its allies must remain resolute in protecting their interests and promoting regional stability.