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Sikkim standoff: Chinese daily says Sushma lied about support from other nations, warns India of war

India and China have been engaged in a military standoff in Doklam in Sikkim since June 16. Beijing accuses Delhi of trespass and preventing its soldiers from building a road.

india Updated: Jul 21, 2017 21:15 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
Sikkim standoff,Doklam,China
A file photo of the Chinese soldiers at Nathu La pass, Sikkim. (HT)

Chinese official media on Friday continued its aggressive posturing on the ongoing Doklam impasse, calling external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj a liar for telling Parliament that all countries were supporting New Delhi on the standoff.

Swaraj had told Parliament on Thursday that “all countries are in India’s support” on the face-off between troops between the two countries near the Sikkim border.

She had added that India was alert to the need of protecting its security near the border where the “boundaries of China, India and Bhutan” meet.

The Chinese ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) had indicated earlier this week that members of the diplomatic corps had sounded out Beijing on the standoff and had expressed “shock” at the development.

The nationalistic tabloid, Global Times’s editorial said Swaraj had lied to Parliament.

“She (Swaraj) was lying to Parliament. First, India’s invasion of Chinese territory is a plain fact. New Delhi’s impetuous action stuns the international community. No other country will support India’s aggression.

“Second, India’s military strength is far behind that of China. If the conflict between China and India escalates to the intensity where their row has to be resolved through military means, India will surely lose,” the GT editorial said.

“India should abandon the fantasy of a long-term standoff at Doklam. China will by no means agree to the withdrawal of troops from both sides in order for talks to be held.

“Doklam is Chinese territory. The withdrawal of Indian troops must be a precondition for talks and China will not compromise on this stance,” the editorial said.

The Times said the live-fire drill in Tibet by the Chinese Army and movement of huge military supplies to the region was not for “show”.

It noted that India India’s stance has recently changed subtly and started to stress that Doklam is “a tri-junction area of China, India and Bhutan” and said it showed “New Delhi’s guilty conscience”.

The daily also mocked at the way some Indians compare China’s military strength with that of India, and said it was extremely comical.

“...they fail to realize that the PLA’s strong capability to deploy troops can reverse the balance of power at the border within a day. The PLA’s long-range combat capability can also allow its troops in remote areas to provide fire support to troops at the border.

“China’s military spending is four times that of India where its GDP volume is five times that of India. The great gap will shape the actual pattern of power balance between the two countries at the border,” the daily said.

In a less confrontational comment piece on Friday, official news agency, Xinhua said that “the West” was to blame for creating this atmosphere of competition and rivalry between the two countries.

“It is fair to say that the concept of China and India being nemeses to each other was cooked by the West, a smart move, pitting the two biggest future competitors of the West against each other,” the Xinhua comment piece said.

“So who stands to win from a possible India-China war? At least, no one in Asia. Obviously the two would pay a heavy price first of all. Even Japan, the US ally who relies heavily on the Chinese market, would suffer an economic blow, which could turn into a domestic crisis,” it added.

The article had some advice for India.

“India must understand that China wishes what’s good for the Indian people and would love to see a strong India standing shoulder by shoulder with China. Meanwhile, just like China, India must remain sober and guard against wrong judgement and irrational perceptions.”

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Jul 21, 2017 19:02 IST