In one of the most scathing editorials till now aimed at India over the Doklam row in the Sikkim sector, China Daily has warned that ‘the countdown to a clash between the two forces has begun’. The stinging editorial titled ‘New Delhi should come to its senses while it has time’, opined that the window to peacefully resolve the standoff in Doklam is closing even as the row enters its seventh week. “The countdown to a clash between the two forces has begun, and the clock is ticking away the time to what seems to be an inevitable conclusion.”
The editorial goes onto say that all India needs to do is withdraw its troops from the Doklam area for any kind of meaningful talks and for Beijing to avoid any kind of conflict. “Beijing has time and again sent the message that to avoid conflict all India needs to do is withdraw all its troops from an area that based on historical treaties, historically expressed agreements and long-exercised control both have long agreed is Chinese territory.”
India, the editorial said, should not take advantage of the restraint shown by China or underestimate the resolve of People’s Liberation Army. “There’s a ‘bottom line’ to the restraint shown by China to India’s trespass,” it said. Also Read: Dalai Lama says Doklam standoff is ‘not serious’, asks India, China to invoke spirit of ‘Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai’
This is not the first time that China’s state media have issued warnings to India through their acerbic editorials advising India to back off from the Doklam region.
The editorial takes a dig at India’s shortcomings saying ‘it’s audacity to challenge Beijing’s sovereignty arises from its own sense of insecurity and inferiority vis-a-vis China’s rapid rise in the region. “Betting on Beijing backing away from a fight because of its desire for a peaceful neighborhood is a risk, as it ignores the fact that the foundation for that is countries respecting China’s territorial integrity,” the editorial said.
Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a face- off in the Dokalam area of the Sikkim sector for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area.
China claimed that they were constructing the road within their territory and has been demanding immediate pull-out of the Indian troops from the disputed Dokalam plateau. New Delhi has expressed concern over the road building, apprehending that it may allow Chinese troops to cut India’s access to its northeastern states. Also Read: Nepal won’t take any sides in India-China standoff: Deputy PM Krishna Bahadur Mahara
India has conveyed to the Chinese government that the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for it. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.
Of the 3,488-km-long India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-km section falls in Sikkim.
(with PTI inputs)