With the ongoing standoff between armies of India and China showing no signs of abating, an article in a state-run daily in Beijing on Saturday said China is considering the option of carrying out a “small scale military operation” to “expel” Indian troops from the Doklam area “within two weeks”. Since June 16, India and China have been locked in a prolonged standoff in the area in the Sikkim sector after Chinese troops started constructing a road near the Bhutan trijunction.
Bhutan has lodged a protest against China, saying the area belonged to it and also accused Beijing of violating agreements that aim to maintain the status quo until the boundary dispute is resolved. On the other hand, India said the Chinese action to construct the road was unilateral and changed the status quo. India believes that road would allow China to block India’s access to its northeastern states.
“China will not allow the military standoff between China and India in Doklam to last for too long, and there may be a small-scale military operation to expel Indian troops within two weeks,” Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences was quoted by the Global Times.
“Chinese side will inform the Indian foreign ministry before its operation,” he wrote in the daily.
Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had advocated patience and said both the sides should first pull back their troops and hold dialogue to peacefully resolve the impasse. On Thursday, Swaraj reiterated that war cannot resolve anything, adding that India was engaged with China to resolve differences. Her ministry’s spokesman Gopal Baglay had said India was in close coordination with Bhutan over the Doklam issue.
However, the Chinese media, particularly the Global Times tabloid, maintained a bellicose tone as it unleashed a barrage of anti-India rhetoric in recent weeks amid tensions between the two countries. In Saturday’s article, the researcher also cited a state-run CCTV report about live fire exercises in Tibet recently.
“India has adopted an immature policy toward China in recent years. Its development is not at the same level as China’s. It only wants to seek disputes in an area which originally has no disputes to gain bargaining chips,” Hu continued.
Significantly, the military standoff comes ahead of the BRICS Summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen early next month, where leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will meet.
With PTI inputs