Washington: India is “behaving like a mature power” in tackling the Doklam standoff in the Sikkim sector and making China look like an adolescent throwing a “temper tantrum”, a top American defence expert has said. India and China have been locked in a faceoff in Doklam for the last 50 days after Indian troops stopped the Chinese People’s Liberation Army from building a road in the area.
Praising India’s conduct over the matter, James R Holmes, professor of strategy at the US Naval War College, said, “New Delhi has done things right thus far, neither backing away from the dispute nor replying in kind to Beijing’s over-the-top rhetoric.”
“It is behaving as the mature power and making China look like the adolescent throwing a temper tantrum,” Mr Holmes said.
Mr Holmes said it was “weird” that China wanted to keep alive a boundary dispute with its most formidable neighbour. “If China wants to pursue an assertive maritime strategy, it needs secure borders on land so it doesn’t have to worry about overland aggression from its neighbours,” Mr Holmes said.
“In other words, confronting India in the Himalayas is not a purely rational course of action driven by rational cost/benefit analysis,” said the professor.
On why the US has remained silent so far on this issue, he said the current administration has too much on its plate.
“It’s also possible Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and his advisers don’t want the United States involved in a Himalayan dispute it has little way of influencing. If the dispute escalates, chances are Washington will come out in support of New Delhi,” Mr Holmes said.