India's ‘bloated’ ego, hegemonic ideas sparked incursion: Chinese media
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India's ‘bloated’ ego, hegemonic ideas sparked incursion: Chinese media

China’s state-run media has mounted another offensive against India, alleging that New Delhi’s “bloated” ego and hegemonic ideas had caused the standoff in the Sikkim sector.

world Updated: Jul 11, 2017 00:38 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
India-China relations,Chinese state media,Xinhua commentary
File photo of an Indian paramilitary trooper framed by Indian and Chinese flags near the presidential palace in New Delhi in January 2002. (AFP)

India’s “bloated self-assertiveness” made it infringe on China’s sovereignty and New Delhi had levelled false allegations and accusations against Beijing to serve its hegemonic ambitions, a stinging commentary from the official Chinese media said on Monday evening.

The commentary, released by the official Xinhua news agency , said India first levelled false allegations about Chinese encroachment of its territory but later changed the tone to say Indian troops had gone into Doklam (or Donglang) region to “protect” Bhutan.

The piece by Xinhua was the latest in a series of articles and opinion pieces in the state media criticising India for the three-week-old standoff at the strategic tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China.

India has said its troops acted in coordination with the Bhutan government to prevent the construction of a road by Chinese troops in the Donglang or Doklam region, which is claimed by Thimphu. China has accused Indian troops of trespassing into its territory.

The commentary made specific reference to defence minister Arun Jaitley’s comment that the India of today is different from what it was 1962, when it was defeated in a border war by China.

“Bluffing about a potential clash that could be similar to that 55 years ago when India's military suffered a bitter defeat, Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said, ‘India in 2017 is different from India in 1962’, implying the country's improved military strength and bloated self-assertiveness,” the commentary said.

It added: “On the other hand, Jaitley should not ignore China's unwavering and consistent stance which has continued over the last five decades and its firm belief in the international justice that no country can pursue its security at the cost of another country's sovereignty.”

The commentary said that since the Indian soldiers “crossed” into Chinese territory and obstructed work on a road in Doklam in June, China had lodged a series of protests demanding that India immediately pull back its troops. “However, New Delhi views both the incident and its actions quite differently,” it said.

“In order to illegally install its troops on Chinese soil for as long as possible and achieve a fait accompli, India firstly claimed its border had been encroached by China. After realising its own false allegation was ridiculous, it changed its tone to its actions to being in the name of ‘protecting’ Bhutan,” it added.

“India, who calls Bhutan an ‘ally’, said it had intervened on behalf of its neighbour, yet the true subtext is the South Asian giant wants to maintain and expand regional hegemony,” it said.

The Doklam area, under Chinese control, is claimed by Bhutan.

But the commentary said: “The Doklam area has long been recognised as Chinese sovereign territory with a clear history and legal basis, so there is absolutely no reason for India's incursion.”

The commentary made no mention of what India has argued and expressed concerns about.

New Delhi has said it reached an agreement with Beijing in 2012 that the “tri-junction boundary points between India, China and third countries will be finalised in consultation with the concerned countries”. Any attempt to unilaterally determine the tri-junction points is a “violation of this understanding”, the external affairs ministry said last week.

The ministry’s statement added that India and China had also reached an understanding in 2012 on the “basis of the alignment” of the boundary in Sikkim sector and that the finalisation of the frontier was being discussed by the Special Representatives on the border issue.

First Published: Jul 10, 2017 20:33 IST