On July 28, VOA published an article in which it stated that there are indications that China is softening its position against India over the recent stand-off at the China India border. On July 28, Xi Jinping met with representatives from BRICS (an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Ajit Doval, India’s security advisor was among those representatives. According to China’s official media, Ajit Doval was said to be the person that ordered the Indian troops to the border. Per the media from the West, he is considered to be the most influential political figure next to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the official press statement following the meeting, there was no mention of the military stand-off in the Doklam region. On July 25, Xinhua published an analytical article on its English website which praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his active promotion of India’s foreign policy reform and stressed that, “China-India cooperation helps promote open global trade and counter protectionism.” The Times of India said on July 27 that the Chinese government obviously thinks that India is an important market for China and that military conflicts between the two should be avoided. The article also mentioned that, at the press conference, the spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs appeared to avoid harsh words towards India except that China still insists that India must withdraw its troops from the border. The VOA article went on to quote an interview with Jeff Smith, a scholar at the American Foreign Policy Council, who told VOA that China has used so many aggressive words on the issue that it has pushed itself into a dead-end. He said it will be very difficult for China to back down from its position gracefully. “China is unlikely to gain from the border standoff with India as the road it was building in the Sikkim sector’s Doklam area leads to nowhere and the move would push India closer to the U.S. and Japan.” The article further quoted the speech that Jeff Smith gave during a forum held in Washington D.C. on July 27.
Source: Voice of America, July 28, 2017