Global Times, widely read Chinese language edition of the Communist Party-run, today slammed External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s remarks in Parliament on the Doklam stand-off, accusing her of “lying” and ruling out a simultaneous withdrawal in the disputed region describing it as India’s “fantasy”.
The editorial has strictly threatened Delhi with military action. “China has already shown its tolerance and calmness to the largest extent”, it said. “If New Delhi does not withdraw its troops, the last option for China is fighting against India and ending the conflict without diplomatic means.”
External Affairs Minister Swaraj had pointed out that India “had to intervene at the trijunction point to stop China’s unilateral attempt to change the status quo because this would impact our security” and said that India was “willing to talk but both sides should take back their armies to their original positions.”
The editorial rebutted her remarks, saying, “The lady foreign minister was lying to the parliamentarians in India, because firstly, India invaded the territory of China and it is a fact that New Delhi’s adventures made the international community surprised that no country would support it. Secondly, India’s military power is far behind China, and once things go to a military solution, there is no doubt India will lose.”
The editorial suggested Swaraj’s comments indicated a change in India’s stand, “We noticed that the tone of the statement by India has been fractionally changed. They started to claim that Donglong (Doklam) is a trijunction and have presented the proposition of withdrawing the troops of both sides to feel out China’s response. It reflects that New Delhi has begun to be diffident.”
The Global Times Chinese editorial also issued a stern escalation at other points on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). “If India still holds on to their confrontational attitude, they should prepare for bearing the consequences of the escalation of the conflict”.
The logistics and maneuverability of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is far superior to that of India”, it added. “Our troops may appear at any place on the other side of the border and the Sino-India border will become the arena for China to show its achievements on army training and reforming.”
Negating the possibility of a simultaneous withdrawal, it called on India to “abandon the long-term fantasy of the Donglang [Doklam] area”. “China will never engage with what India calls ‘double withdrawal’. Confrontation is in the territory of China, and India must unilaterally withdraw”, the editorial added.
The newspaper backed its claim by a suggestive majority backing from the Chinese Nationals for a strong action on India, “Not one inch of Chinese land can be lost, which is the desire of the Chinese people. The Chinese government will never allow China’s public sentiment to be violated and the PLA will never disappoint the Chinese people.”
What Peace means to the Chinese?
“China cherishes peace. But peace cannot be achieved at the expense of China’s lost territory, and 1.4 billion Chinese people will not accept that peace.”
The editorial in the Chinese edition also used words like “ridiculous” for India to assume it had an advantage. “India’s current number of soldiers may be higher, but they do not know the PLA’s strong delivery capacity can change the number of forces within a day. China also has a long-range strike capability. China and India’s military spending scale is four to one, and the GDP is five times larger than India’s. Such a gap in strength will shape the actual outcome on the border.”
Global Times also confidently mentioned that, India would not receive support from the United States or Japan in the event of a conflict, referring to the recent Malabar exercises.
“Their support is virtual”, it said. “If India imagines it has a strategic card in the Indian Ocean, then it is being naive. China has a lot of cards than can hurt India’s soft underbelly.”
Referring to 1962, the editorial said India had made “a wrong assessment” then of “China’s determination to defend territory.” “We hope this time New Delhi does not repeat the same mistake,” it concluded.
It will be crucial to see whether India will rebut strongly to these allegations or find a via media to resolve the North Eastern Border conflict amicably.