Is China gearing for battle over Doklam standoff?

Keeping up its sabre-rattling over the Doklam standoff, China’s media today said Beijing “doesn’t fear going to war” and that any escalation would see India “face the consequence of an all-out confrontation”.

A commentary in the hawkish Global Times, a tabloid under the People’s Daily known for its hardline views, accused India of “repeatedly making provocations” since the 1962 war, the latest of which, according to writer Duo Mu, was the standoff near the India-China-Bhutan trijunction.

“China must be prepared for future conflicts and confrontation,” the commentary said. “China can take further countermeasures along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). If India stirs up conflicts in several spots, it must face the consequence of an all-out confrontation with China along the entire LAC.”

It also called on China to “continue strengthening border construction and speed up troop deployment and construction in the Doklam area”. “These are legitimate actions of a sovereign country,” it said.


The commentary warned that while “China doesn’t advocate and tries hard to avoid a military clash with India”, at the same time “China doesn’t fear going to war to safeguard sovereignty either, and will make itself ready for a long-term confrontation.”

The commentary was the latest in the continuing shrill rhetoric from Beijing over the June 16 standoff. This weekend, State media showed videos of a major PLA exercise in Tibet involving live-fire drills and anti-aircraft guns.

The Global Times said “India’s action this time is a blatant infringement on China’s sovereignty.”

“As the confrontation goes on, China needs to get ready for the face-off becoming a long-term situation and at the same time, needs to maintain a sense of rationality,” it said.

“Within China, there are voices calling for the Indian troops to be expelled immediately to safeguard the country’s sovereignty, while Indian public opinion is clamouring for war with China. However, the two sides need to exercise restraint and avoid the current conflict spiralling out of control.”


While diplomatic negotiations were on-going, it said the “atmosphere for negotiations has been poisoned by India.”

The commentary also said that if India was going to strengthen resources in the border areas, China would do so as well.
“China can engage in a competition with India over economic and military resources deployment in the border area,” the commentary said. “With growing national strength, China is capable of deploying resources in remote border areas. It is conducive to the economic growth of these regions, as well as to safeguarding integration of China’s territory. Road and rail in the Tibetan area have been extended close to the border area with India, Nepal and Bhutan. It’s a competition of military strength, as well as a competition of overall economic strength.”

By: India Today

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