Deccan Herald, 16 October 2017 Read original story here
Beijing’s recent muscle-flexing in Doklam Plateau in western Bhutan was “a manifestation” of its “expansionist” policy and decades-old strategy of “encircling” India, Lobsang Sangay, head of Tibetan Government-in-Exile, said.
Sangay told DH that what had happened at Doklam along China-Bhutan border this year had earlier happened with Tibet in 1959.
He was obviously referring to Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s occupation of Tibet which prompted Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama’s escape to India in 1959.
“In early 1950s, the then Chairman of People’s Republic of China termed Tibet as China’s right hand palm whereas Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh are its five fingers. Therefore, China’s flexing of its military muscle is a manifestation of its decades old strategy to encircle and weaken India,” said the Sikyong of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.
Sangay was in New Delhi on Monday to take part in a discussion on the issue of Tibet.
The Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army recently had a 72-day-long face-off at Doklam Plateay near India-China-Bhutan tri-junction boundary point.
The face-off started on June 16 when the Chinese PLA personnel started constructing a road on Doklam Plateau along the disputed China-Bhutan border, brushing aside the protests by Royal Bhutanese Army soldiers posted nearby. Indian Army intervened on June 18 and sent soldiers to stop the Chinese PLA personnel from constucting the road. This led to the face-off that finally ended on August 28.
Though the military face-off between the two neighbours at Doklam Plateau ended, the reports indicated fresh build-up by Chinese People’s Liberation Army near India-China-Bhutan tri-junction boundary point.
“The Doklam situation is consistent with a troubling pattern of Chinese policy of trying to alter the basic facts on the ground,” said Sangay, a second generation refugee from Tibet, who in April 2011 elected to the top office of the Central Tibetan Administration or the Tibetan government-in-exile based at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. He was elected for a second term last year.
“China’s nationalistic design is increasingly becoming apparent; with the South China Sea, East China Sea, Scarborough Island and, increasing border incursions across the MacMahon line and now at Doklam,” he told DH in an interview.