Doklam Stand Off – Does Game Theory Provide Answers?

The India China (and Bhutan) Standoff on the tri-junction variously depicted as the Doklam Plateau and Doka La incident has now officially completed a month. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) road construction party entered Doklam in Bhutan as per Ministry of External Affairs Press release on 16 June when the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) patrol sought to stop the same. As the Chinese road construction did not relent, on request from the RBA Indian personnel from the nearest post in Doka La asked the Chinese to stop the activity. The standoff is presently unarmed, however both sides have reportedly reinforced respective sectors with reports in the Indian media indicating that Indian forces are prepared to stay till the onset of winter. Chinese troops are also expected to be prepared accordingly. The involvement of three parties India, China and Bhutan renders the case open for application of the Prisoner’s Dilemma model of Game Theory with modification,

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