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8 Aug 2017

Sikkim standoff: Beijing will counter India if it ignores Doklam warning, says Chinese media

Sikkim standoff, Doklam standoff, China, India, India-China, India -China ties, narendra Modi, Xi Jinping,ENS, New Delhi | August 8, 2017 : Amid the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam area in the Sikkim sector, Chinese state-run media on Tuesday said that countermeasures from Beijing would be unavoidable if the Narendra Modi-led Indian government continues to ignore the warning coming from a situation spiraling out of control in the Doklam region. While terming China as a powerful neighbour, Global Times opined: “The border standoff has stretched out for nearly two months. The world has seen China treasure peace and understands the causes of the issue. During this period, the Chinese public has gradually adapted to the risks and uncertainties their country faces and believes the Chinese government has the authority to solve the crisis through all possible means.”
The scathing editorial reiterated that if Indian troops continue to stay on Chinese territory, it will be quite another matter. “Of course China doesn’t want to risk a war and hopes that peace could return and China and India can get along well. But if Indian troops continue to linger on Chinese soil, it will be quite another matter.” 
Recalling the 1962 Sino-Indian war, the editorial blames the Indian government for being naíve saying ‘usually no government dares to offend a powerful neighbour’. “Fifty-five years have passed, but the Indian government is as naïve as it ever was. The lessons of the 1962 war didn’t last for half a century. Usually, no government dares to offend a powerful neighbour. Now all Indian people know that their troops have trespassed on the territory of another country, although New Delhi claims that it is a disputed area between China and Bhutan. As the risk of war is rising, Indian public opinion has become clear that Indian troops cannot defeat the Chinese People’s Liberation Army,” it said.
The Global Times editorial further issued a warning to New Delhi saying ‘India does not comprehend the nature of the Sino-US rivalry and the meaning of strategic containment’. “It thinks Washington can influence the situation along the China-India border simply by issuing a pro-India statement or sending warships to the Indian Ocean,” it further stated.
Taking a dig at India’s military capability as compared to Beijing, the editorial said ‘India has lost in both the legal and moral sense’. “It also lacks strength compared with China. The outcome of the standoff between Chinese and Indian troops in the Doklam area is fixed. China has not resorted to a war because it hopes New Delhi can make a rational choice rather than China daring not to take action. If New Delhi really keeps the faith that China will not take military action under any circumstances, then, its analysis is not based on the principles of international politics and military science,” it said.
Indian and Chinese soldiers have been locked in a face-off in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area. China claimed that they were constructing the road within their territory and has been demanding immediate pull-out of the Indian troops from the disputed Dokalam plateau. New Delhi has expressed concern over the road building, apprehending that it may allow Chinese troops to cut India’s access to its northeastern states.
India has conveyed to the Chinese government that the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for it. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.
Of the 3,488-km-long India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-km section falls in Sikkim.
(With PTI inputs)

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