Sounds about right, but why are indian commentators looking rather anxious for a ‘de-escalation’? Fact is, India’s pre-emptive move and china’s disproportionate reaction has made this a great opportunity for India diplomatically and strategically. A position they can and should capitalize on. China’s intense rhetoric has pushed them into a corner where every day that India does not withdraw, is another egg on their face. The delirious commentary in the excitable sections of chinese media reflects this suppressed embarrassment. All of asia is watching this standoff, and the longer india holds, which theoretically it can forever, the more china’s image is diminished. India’s strategy now should be hold-on and ignore. China’s has very few options.
The worst it can do is launch a military operation to occupy the territory, but even if it captures the territory, which india anyway has little interest in holding, it would end up being a case of ‘china invading tiny bhutan’. Peaceful rise, eh? The alternative is to force india to withdraw by ratcheting up tensions elsewhere and then forcing a backchannel bargain. But its evident India is not giving an inch elsewhere. Its very likely the current position in doklam is a semi-permanent position for many years to come. And that is what India should be aiming for.