The state-run Chinese media today claimed that Beijing is planning a “small scale military operation” to “expel” Indian troops from the Doklam area “within two weeks”.
In an article in Global Times, Chinese expert Hu Zhiyong wrote that the “Chinese side will inform the Indian foreign ministry before its operation.”
“China will not allow the military standoff between China and India in Doklam to last for too long, and there may be a small-scale military operation to expel Indian troops within two weeks,” Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, wrote in the article.
India and China have been locked in a prolonged standoff in the area in the Sikkim sector since June 16 after Chinese troops began constructing a road near the Bhutan trijunction.
Bhutan has protested to China, saying the area belonged to it and accused Beijing of violating agreements that aim to maintain the status quo until the boundary dispute is resolved.
India says the Chinese action to construct the road was unilateral and changes the status quo. It fears the road would allow China to cut off India’s access to its northeastern states.
To peacefully resolve the impasse, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that both the sides should first pull back their troops and hold dialogue.
Swaraj on Thursday again asserted that war cannot resolve anything. She said India was engaged with China to resolve differences and advocated patience.
Her ministry’s spokesman Gopal Baglay yesterday said India was in close coordination with Bhutan over the Dokal issue.
But the Chinese media, particularly the Global Times tabloid, has unleashed a barrage of anti-India rhetoric in recent weeks amid tensions between the two countries.
In today’s article, the researcher also cited a state-run CCTV report about live fire exercises in Tibet recently.
Hu continued: “India has adopted an immature policy toward China in recent years. Its development is not at the same level as China’s. It only wants to seek disputes in an area which originally has no disputes to gain bargaining chips.”
The military standoff comes ahead of the BRICS Summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen early next month, where leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will meet.
Narendra Modi’s ‘hard line stance’ pushing India into war: Chinese daily
In an editorial, Global Times accused Prime Minister of pushing India into war and “gambling” with the destiny of its people.
The editorial said Modi should be aware of the “overwhelming” strength of the People’s Liberation Army which is capable of “annihilating” Indian troops in Doklam.
The tone of the Chinese government and its media have become shriller over the past few days, with its Defence Ministry telling India not to test its patience.
India’s response has been measured, always calling for dialogue to solve the crisis in Sikkim sector.
The editorial said India had challenged a country which was far more superior in strength.
“It is a war with an obvious result,” the editorial pronounced.
It said India’s recklessness had “shocked” the Chinese.
“The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be aware of the PLA’s overwhelming firepower and logistics. Indian border troops are no rival to PLA field forces. If a war spreads, the PLA is perfectly capable of annihilating all Indian troops in the border region.”
“The Modi government’s hard line stance is sustained by neither laws nor strength. This administration is recklessly breaking international norms and jeopardizing India’s national pride and peaceful development.”
“Its move is irresponsible to regional security and is gambling against India’s destiny and its people’s well-being. If the Modi government refuses to stop, it will push its country into a war that India has no power to control,” it went on.
The daily said India cannot bully China like other countries in South Asia.
The editorial comes a day after the Chinese Defence Ministry said that India should not test its patience over Doklam and that “restraint has a bottom line”.
The Ministry told India to “give up the illusion of its delaying tactic, as no country should underestimate the Chinese forces’ confidence and capability”.
Adding to the growing belligerence, Global Times said that the PLA was combat-ready but has exercised restraint as it “cherishes peace”.
“We want to give peace a chance and allow India to recognize the grave consequences.”
“The PLA did not strike in the past month when Indian troops savagely trespassed into Chinese territory. If the Modi government takes China’s goodwill for weakness, its recklessness will only lead to devastation.
Despite China raising the ante over the Doklam stand-off, India has maintained that it will continue to engage with Beijing diplomatically to resolve the border standoff and that war is not a solution.
“Our stand is that we maintain restraint in language and keep patience and engage in diplomacy. No solution will be gained out of war because even after war, talks are required. A solution cannot be derived out of war,” India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in Parliament on Thursday.
(With agency inputs)