The Doklam standoff began in mid-June when India accused China of constructing a road in the disputed territory towards Doklam plateau, an objection that the Royal Bhutanese Army also raised. Doklam is a tri-junction between India, Bhutan and China. India intervened in the crisis, supporting Bhutan’s stand and asking China to halt its construction work. China claimed Doklam as its territory and soon there was a standoff between the Indian and Chinese troops, with both of them sending reinforcements at the border area. In the wake of the stand-off, the pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar was cancelled. Located at an altitude of 15, 160 feet, the yatra is considered holy to Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. It takes place between June and September.
On June 30, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) spokesperson Col Wu Qian warned Army chief General Bipin Rawat to “stop clamouring for war”, dismissing the latter’s remarks that India was ready for a “two-and-a-half front war” as “extremely irresponsible”. PLA spokesperson Col Wu Qian told reporters: “We hope that the particular person in the Indian Army could learn from historical lessons and stop such clamouring for war.” In response to this, Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley hit back at Beijing and asserted that the India of 2017 is different from what it used to be 55 years ago. “If they are trying to remind us, the situation in 1962 was different and India of 2017 is different,” Jaitley said.