New Delhi: Is China, India border confrontation going to spiral into an all-out war between the two nations? The two nations with around 2.6 billion people on both sides of the border and with huge armies are facing a standoff of sorts at the disputed border at Doklam.
While India is trying to make it look like a small standoff at the border like many other standoffs in border areas over the decades, but the Chinese officials are sounding belligerent, trying to whip up the war rhetoric in the region.
China is asking India to vacate the area and back off. But India hasn’t shown any sign that it is going to buckle under the pressure of its economic giant with a huge economy and the largest army in the world.
In the meantime, toughening its stand against the border standoff, China on Tuesday again asked India to withdraw its troops from the disputed border. It has also reportedly said that Beijing was battle ready and not afraid to go to war with India in an “all-out confrontation”.
While talking to the foreign diplomats, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said that Indian troops had “illegally” crossed the mutually recognised China-India boundary on the Sikkim section. He said India “should not take the illegal trespass as a policy to realise its political target” adding, the foreign diplomats in Beijing were “shocked” over the trespass by India.
The two adversaries have a long and porous border that is 3,488-km long. China calls Doklam its own, a claim contested by India and Bhutan. China said India violated international rules by “illegally entering into the Chinese territory”. Beijing has been trying to rally international support behind it. “The illegal trespass by the Indian border personnel has drawn extensive attention from the international community and many foreign diplomatic missions in China said they were shocked by this,” Lu said.
The Chinese official further said, “We stressed the facts are very clear in this incident. The Sikim section on China-India boundary is mutually recognised by the two sides…This time the Indian border personnel illegally trespassed into Chinese territory.” Lu warned India to withdraw troops from Doklam to avoid an escalation. “We hope the Indian side get the clear understanding of the current situation and take immediate measures to pull back the personnel.”
Meanwhile, a commentary in the state-run Global Times said China doesn’t fear going to war and will make itself ready for a long-term confrontation.
In the meantime an article in pro Chinese government newspaper, Global Times said, “China doesn’t fear going to war to safeguard sovereignty either, and will make itself ready for a long-term confrontation…China has risen quickly to be the world’s No. 2 economy… New Delhi is deeply concerned with China’s rapid rise. Provocation at the border reflects India’s worry and attempt to sound out China…China must be prepared for future conflicts and confrontation. China can take further counter-measures along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)”.
The article further said, “If India stirs up conflicts in several spots, it must face the consequence of an all-out confrontation with China along the entire LAC. The 3,500-km border has never been short of disputes. Since the 1962 border war, the Indian side has repeatedly made provocations.”