With the border stand-off between India and China entering the 20th day, a strident Chinese media on Wednesday said that “shameless India” must be taught “a bitter lesson”, adding that the Indian military will be “kicked out of the area by Chinese soldiers”.
“We firmly believe that the face-off in the Donglang area will end up with the Indian troops in retreat. The Indian military can choose to return to its territory with dignity, or be kicked out of the area by Chinese soldiers,” said an editorial in the state-run Global Times.
The editorial also said that India “will suffer greater losses than in 1962” if war were to break out today. It went on to say that the Chinese public is “infuriated by India’s provocation” and “looks down” on India’s military might.
“The Chinese public is infuriated by India’s provocation. We believe the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is powerful enough to expel Indian troops out of Chinese territory. This time, we must teach New Delhi a bitter lesson,” the editorial said.
Further, it accused India of “acting shamelessly before the international community” and of “coercing” Bhutan to get involved in this latest India-China border stand-off.
Last week, China made oblique reference to the 1962 War between the two countries, on which Defence Minister Arun Jaitley had responded by saying that the India of 2017 is different from what it was in 1962.
On this, the editorial in Global Times, which is run by the Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper People's Daily said, “Jaitley is right that the India of 2017 is different from that of 1962 - India will suffer greater losses than in 1962 if it incites military conflicts”.
The editorial also said that India’s “real purpose” was aimed at blocking China’s road construction project in the area.
“The Cold War-obsessed India is suspicious that China is building the road to cut off the Siliguri Corridor, an area held by Indians as strategically important for India to control its turbulent northeast area,” it read.
“India is taking the risk to betray the historical agreement and wants to force China to swallow the result,” it added. Beijing has accused India of violating an 1890 border agreement between Britain and China.
China’s state-run media appears to be irked not only by Jaitley but also Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat, who recently said that “India is ready for a two-and-a-half front war”, an oblique reference to China, its ‘all-weather ally’ Pakistan, and internal conflicts.
“If New Delhi believes that its military might can be used as leverage in the Donglang area, and it's ready for a two-and-a-half front war, we have to tell India that the Chinese look down on their military power,” the editorial read.
China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan trijunction for past 20 days after a Chinese army's construction party came to build a road.
Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.
China and Bhutan are engaged in talks over the resolution of the area. Bhutan, however, has no diplomatic ties with China and it is supported militarily and diplomatically by India.