Thursday, 30 June 2022

Our soldiers won’t be patient forever, says China

As the standoff between India and China at Doka La enters its second month, Beijing appears to be running out of patience.

In a closed-door meeting last week, Chinese officials told foreign diplomats that the Chinese Army has been waiting patiently since the standoff started but they will not do so indefinitely.

The concerned diplomats have conveyed China’s message to India and Bhutan. Also, the report said that China has briefed certain G-20 nations about the border row separately. A diplomat from one of the permanent member nations of the UN Security Council told the national daily that the situation was worrisome as China appeared to be unwilling to wait for an “indefinite period”.
As reported earlier, the area at the strategic tri-junction of India, Bhutan, and China, which is under Chinese control but claimed by Thimphu, has been the scene of a standoff since June 16. China, for its part, has accused Indian troops of transgressing into its territory and demanded their withdrawal, while India has expressed concern over China constructing a road in the disputed Doka La area near Sikkim and has conveyed to Beijing that such an action would represent a significant change of status quo with “serious” security implications for India.
While briefing the diplomatic community, China has maintained that Indian troops have trespassed into its territory and that they must pull back immediately and unconditionally before any dialogue can take place between the two nations. Also, China has claimed that it has strong evidence to back its claim over Doka La, or Doklam as it is called by Beijing. 

Amid the standoff, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently conducted live-fire exercises in Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. State-run China Central Television (CCTV) reported the war games on Friday without mentioning the exact timing of the drills.

The brigade that conducted the drills was from the PLA’s Tibet Military Command and is one of China’s two plateau mountain brigades, an agency report that cited the Global Times said.
The PLA Tibet command guards the Line of Actual Control (LAC) of the India-China border along several sections connecting the mountainous Tibetan region.

Following the diplomatic briefings and war games, a Global Times op-ed published on Tuesday warned India that China “doesn’t fear going to war to safeguard (its) sovereignty”. While the op-ed advised both nations to “exercise restraint” and ensure that the current conflict does not spiral out of control, it also said that China would ready itself for a “long-term confrontation”.

“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 op-ed further warned.

The Global Times is an English-language Chinese newspaper under the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party.

Other Chinese media articles and opinion pieces have also warned India of consequences if the standoff continues.

As reported last week, the People’s Daily posted a picture of a Chinese editorial, titled ‘If this can be tolerated, what cannot?’, from September 22, 1962 — just short of a month before the 1962 war started.

We couldn’t access a direct English translation of the editorial. However, the essence of the editorial was that the “Chinese people would not tolerate the provocation by the Indian Army”, according to a People’s Daily Online article titled ‘People’s Daily to India: Borderline is bottom line’. Back then, the editorial had warned of serious consequences for India if the conflict lingered. Further, it had accused Indian troops of encroaching on Beijing’s territory.

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