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Mainstream, VOL LV No 33 New Delhi August 5, 2017

Global Times Lashes out at India: Doval visit won’t sway China over border standoff

Saturday 5 August 2017

The following is a recent editorial that appeared in China’s official organ, Global Times (July 25, 2017), bringing out its no-holds-barred attack on India over the Doklam standoff.

India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is to visit China for the annual BRICS National Security Advisers’ meeting this week. As Doval is believed to be one of the main schemers behind the current border standoff between Chinese and Indian troops, the Indian media is pinning high hopes on the trip to settle the ongoing dispute.

Beijing is firm that India’s withdrawal from Chinese territory is a precondition and basis for any meaningful dialogue between the two sides. The Chinese side will not talk with India on the issue before the Indian troops’ uncondi-tional withdrawal from Chinese territory. New Delhi should give up its illusions, and Doval’s Beijing visit is most certainly not an opportunity to settle the standoff in accordance with India’s will.

The BRICS National Security Advisers’ meeting is a routine conference held in preparation for the BRICS summit, and is not a platform to address Sino-Indian border skirmishes.

Doval will inevitably be disappointed if he attempts to bargain with Beijing over the border disputes. India’s unconditional withdrawal is China’s bottom-line. The Chinese Government’s strong determination requesting Indian troops’ withdrawal is backed by all the Chinese people who are firm that we can’t lose one inch of Chinese territory.

The Indian media outlets are exploring ”dignified” ways to pull back its troops. We believe that if India complies with international laws, then the withdrawal will display dignity. Beijing has no obligation to coordinate with New Delhi to withdraw its troops or suspend its road construction.

India is wrong by brazenly crossing the Sino-Indian border in the Sikkim sector, and must correct its mistakes. China will neither jeer nor express gratitude for India’s retreat.

New Delhi must give up all its illusions. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces are being deployed to the border area, and will take effective countermeasures if India refuses to pull back voluntarily. The PLA is capable enough to take actions that neither Indian troops nor the government can afford.

We don’t believe India is willing and deter-mined to have an all-out military showdown with China. If it chooses this path, Beijing will fight to the end to safeguard its territory and resist being deterred or hijacked by any force. New Delhi will have to pay a heavy price.

India’s voluntary withdrawal will incur the least cost to it. If Beijing takes countermeasures, New Delhi will be mired in a more passive political and military situation, and face its most serious strategic setback since 1962.

China’s GDP is five times and its defence budget four times that of India’s, but this is not the only source of our strength. Justice is on China’s side, and Beijing is righteous and resolute to require New Delhi to unconditionally withdraw its troops.

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