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As standoff continues: Chinese experts talks of limited military operation to expel Indian troops

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Two Chinese academics have warned India that China is planning a "small-scale military operation to expel Indian troops within two weeks" from the Doklam area while an editorial in the Chinese Global Times on Saturday said that the government of Nerendra Modi is recklessly pushing India into war by adopting a "hard line" towards Beijing.

India and China are engaged in a border standoff in the Doklam area near Sikkim since June 16 when Indian forces tried to resist Chinese attempts to build a road in an area that is claimed by Indian satellite state of Bhutan as its territory.

From Thursday to Friday, two ministries and four institutions, including the Chinese foreign ministry, the defense ministry, the Chinese Embassy in India and the People's Daily, released statements or commentary on the military standoff between China and India in Doklam, Tibet Autonomous Region. The standoff has lasted for almost two months now, and there is still no end in sight.

"The series of remarks from the Chinese side within a 24-hour period sends a signal to India that there is no way China will tolerate the Indian troops' incursion into Chinese territory for too long. If India refuses to withdraw, China may conduct a small-scale military operation within two weeks," said Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

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"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, said in an article in Global Times.

Hu further wrote that the "Chinese side will inform the Indian foreign ministry before its operation.

"India, which has stirred up the incident, should bear all the consequences. And no matter how the standoff ends, Sino-Indian ties have been severely damaged and strategic distrust will linger," Hu said.

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China notified India about the road works through the border meeting mechanism on May 18 and June 8, but it did not respond, the Chinese foreign ministry said Thursday.

"Road building in Chinese territory is to facilitate border patrols and the lives of herders. But the Indian side has over-interpreted it as a threat to its northeast side. And India, which considers South Asia as its own sphere of influence, dislikes Chinese involvement in the area," Hu said, adding:

"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."

Meanwhile, Zhao Gancheng, director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times about recent military drills: "The exercises are a sign that China could use military means to end the standoff and the chances of doing so are increasing as the Indian side is still saying one thing and doing another."

Zhao said that if the current standoff ends in a military clash, bilateral ties would suffer for at least five years, and India may stir up troubles with China, which may cause tensions among China's other neighbors.

Global Times editorial

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On the other hand, in a strongly worded article the Global Times of China said Saturday:

"India is publicly challenging a country that is far superior in strength. India's recklessness has shocked Chinese. Maybe its regional hegemonism in South Asia and the Western media comments have blinded New Delhi into believing that it can treat a giant to its north in the way it bullies other South Asian countries.

"Over the past month, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been on the move. We believe that the PLA has made sufficient preparation for military confrontation. It is a war with an obvious result. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be aware of the PLA's overwhelming firepower and logistics. Indian border troops are no rival to PLA field forces. If a war spreads, the PLA is perfectly capable of annihilating all Indian troops in the border region."

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 

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