According to emerging stories in a Chinese State-Controlled Newspaper, the government of China will contemplate conducting a ‘small-scale military operation’ in the near future. The objective will be targeted at expelling Indian troops from the contested regions in the Himalayas.
In June, Indian troops entered the Doklam Plateau- a contested region after ally, Bhutan appealed for help. Bhutan had earlier protested against a Chinese construction of a military road inside sovereign territory.
The Chinese Government have coldly dismissed Bhutan’s complaints by unequivocally claiming that Doklam Plateau is located within Tibet. They have also demanded for Indian troops to withdraw.
With the past antagonism between these two Asian heavyweights, world powers continue to closely monitor the situation between two Nuclear-armed powers.
The propensity for war has been frequently exacerbated by each country’s media, with belligerent stands and chest-thumping prominent in discussions across both societies. While the Chinese Media is vigilantly controlled by the Government promoting the official perspective, the Indian Media is free to explore varying reactions.
An article in the government-owned Global Times quoting a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences saying China is preparing to risk provoking a “limited war” to push Indian soldiers out of the area.
Hu Zhiyong, the research associate at the above mentioned institution, said “India, which has stirred up the incident, should bear all the consequences,” he added. “And no matter how the standoff ends, Sino-Indian ties have been severely damaged and strategic distrust will linger.”
While this may just be a unrelated journalist with his personal views, it is worth noting that nothing is published or shared with the media without the tacit approval of the Chinese government.
The Indian government has asked political parties to refrain from politicising the issue and allow diplomacy to work.
Last week, China instantaneously raised the stakes with the China Central Television broadcasting a video where it projected an army unit in an unidentified part of Tibet carrying out live-fire firing exercises in the recent past.
Both sides highly covet the valley that provide China access to the Siliguri Corridor, a narrow strip of lang connecting India to her North Eastern regions. India doesn’t want to hamper it’s access to it’s own territories while China view it as integral to it’s vision of security.
In New Delhi, Sushma Swaraj, the minister for external affairs, told Parliament India was concerned about China’s actions but that India would “keep engaging with China to resolve the dispute.”
Most previous standoffs, such as one in 2014 were decided amicably with both sides withdrawing their forces.
The border war of 1962 remains the only armed aggression between both these countries. Hopefully it will be the last as well.