China mulling ‘small scale military operations’ against India

China state run newspaper said that Beijing is planning a ’small two week military operation’ to expel Bharatiya troops from Doklam area. How will New Delhi respond? What will the appropriate action of the Indian army and political leadership?

China mulling ‘small scale military operations’ against India August 5, 2017

 

An article in the newspaper is the Chinese government’s mouthpiece and the official newspaper of the Chinese People’s Daily has claimed that the Indian government is using Bhutan as an excuse to enter the ‘Chinese territory’.  Written by Xiudong Jia, special commentator of People’s Daily, the article is of significance as Communist Party.

DOKLAM STANDOFF

Troops of both India and China are locked in a stand-off along the border in Sikkim sector, after China attempted road construction in Bhutanese territory around mid-June. China has demanded that India withdraw its troops for dialogue to begin, while New Delhi says that both sides should simultaneously withdraw troops.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry had released a 15-page statement that said Beijing would “take all necessary measures”.

In another statement on Thursday, China had said it had notified India on two occasions through border mechanism meetings that it had planned to construct a road on June 16, and Beijing also sought to rebut Indian officials’ statements saying around 400 Indian troops remained in the area, claiming “48 Indian troops and one bulldozer” remained on the disputed territory, which India and Bhutan see as Bhutanese.

The article in the People’s Daily

On August 2, 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of People’s Republic of China, on its official website, published a document Facts and China’s Position Concerning the Indian Border Troop’s Crossing of the China-India Boundary in the Sikkim Sector into the Chinese Territory. The document provides clear facts, with reasons and evidences. Several days ago, on July 24, 2017, Yi Wang, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, when interviewed by journalists, stated the official position on the China-India standoff.

His words were brief, yet heavy. Both the document and the declaration of position mentioned above contain two points. Firstly, they emphasise where the pinpoint lies in terms of the current situation – that the Indian border troops illegally entered Chinese territory. Secondly, they point out the solution to the standoff: India unconditionally withdraw its trespassing troops back into Indian territory. In the aftermath of Doklam standoff, Indian government and media have spread all kinds of rhetoric, in order to justify the trespassing of its border troops.

In the beginning, the Indian media claimed that China “invaded Indian territory”. Then, Indian officials changed the tone and corrected that “Indian territory wasn’t invaded.” However, they brought up Bhutan and claimed Doklam as a disputed territory between China and Bhutan, and claimed that India had “security concern” regarding China’s road construction in Doklam area. India’s rhetoric is without ground, all in terms of current situation, history, law, and conscience.

It’s clear in facts that Indian border troops trespassed. At the press conference, the spokesperson of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed pictures of Indian border troops crossing China-India boundary in the Sikkim sector. The pictures clearly revealed that Indian armies and cars crossed borderline and entered Chinese territory. China-India boundary in the Sikkim sector has been outlined since the 1890 Convention of Calcutta. That convention was mutually agreed upon and adhered by Chinese and Indian governments.

All previous administrations of India recognised the convention in written formats multiple times. The recent statements of India avoided any mention of the above convention, and even worse, resorted to rhetoric quibbles. From whichever angle, Doklam is not a disputed area between China and India. Indian border troops crossed the mutually recognised border in Sikkim sector, which is fundamentally different from previous frictions in disputed regions between China and India. India’s claim that ‘Doklam belongs to Bhutan’ is equally ridiculous.

China and Bhutan has started border meetings since the 1980s. So far, there have been 24 rounds of meetings between China and Bhutan. Though the two countries haven’t officially drawn the boundary, there exists a basic consensus on the actual situation and the line at the border area between China and Bhutan. There is no dispute between China and Bhutan regarding that the Doklam is part of China. To take a step back, India has nothing to do with issues between China and Bhutan, and doesn’t need to get itself involved. India has no right to enter the negotiation between China and Bhutan, and has no right to propose territorial boundary on behalf of Bhutan. India, uses Bhutan as an excuse, to enter Chinese territory, which not only violates Chinese territorial sovereignty but also Bhutan’s autonomy.

India’s claim that China’s road construction brought up ‘security concern’ to India is ridiculous. China is building roads in its own territory, a reasonable and legal action of a sovereign state, which doesn’t violate the consensus and treaty between China and Bhutan.

On the contrary, it is Indian border troops’ illegal crossing into the Chinese territory that altered the situation. To take a step back, even though two countries could have security concern over the other side of the defined boundary, they should resort to diplomatic channel to obtain resolutions that’s built on trust. India using ‘security concern’ as an excuse and dispatching military to cross the defined borderline and entering the neighbouring countries, whatever it does, which sovereign state could tolerate India’s behavior as such?

Which international law grants India the right to do so? Just as the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, India’s goal to stir up issues is apparent – that is to use the so-called ‘security concern’ as an excuse and ‘protecting Bhutan’ as a disguise, cross the defined borderline, enter the non-disputable Doklam region, create controversy in Doklam region and prohibit and constrain the negotiation progress between the two sovereign states China and Bhutan.

Regarding the issue of Doklam standoff, India’s action is based on inaccurate historical knowledge, convoluted logic, and blind moral confidence. India is groundless, unreasonable and helpless. After the Doklam standoff, despite that India troops haven’t ended their unwelcomed stay in Chinese territory, China still aims at peaceful solution.

However, China will absolutely not compromise on issues of sovereignty. It would be a fantasy if India are to prolong the Doklam standoff. Just as Yi Wang, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated, “The solution to the problem is simple. That is, India takes back its troops, conscientiously.” There is a Chinese saying that goes “Those who understand the signs of the time are wise”. The precondition to peaceful solution of Doklam standoff is that India’s trespassed troops unconditionally retreat.

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