Beijing, July 25, 2017: A leading Chinese daily has called India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval “one of the main schemers” behind the border row and said his trip to Beijing on Friday won’t help settle the row.
The state-run Global Times said in a scathing editorial: “Doval is believed to be one of the main schemers behind the current border standoff. Doval will inevitably be disappointed if he attempts to bargain with Beijing over the border disputes.”
Reiterating that the withdrawal of Indian troops from Doklam was a “precondition”, it said Dovtal’s visit for a meeting of BRICS NSAs meet will not change Beijing’s stance on the issue.
“India’s withdrawal from Chinese territory is a precondition and a basis for any meaningful dialogue between the two sides. The Chinese side will not talk with India on the issue before the Indian troops’ unconditional withdrawal.”
The NSAs meet was in preparation for the BRICS Summit next month and not a platform to address border skirmishes, the daily said.
If Indian troops don’t pull back, New Delhi “will have to pay a heavy price”, it warned.
“India’s unconditional withdrawal is China’s bottom line. …If India complies with international laws, the withdrawal will display dignity. Beijing has no obligation to coordinate with New Delhi to withdraw its troops or suspend its road construction.”
India stopped road construction by Chinese troops in Doklam saying the area was Bhutan’s and the road would endanger New Delhi’s strategic interests. India has also said that both Beijing and New Delhi should pull back forces from Doklam before they can talk.
“India is wrong by brazenly crossing the Sino-Indian border in the Sikkim sector and must correct its mistakes. China will neither jeer nor express gratitude for India’s retreat,” the Global Times said.
“New Delhi must give up all its illusions. People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces are being deployed to the border area, and will take effective countermeasures if India refuses to pull back voluntarily.
“The PLA is capable enough to take actions that neither Indian troops nor the government can afford.”
China doesn’t believe India was ready for a military showdown, the editorial said.
“India’s voluntary withdrawal will incur the least cost to it. If Beijing takes countermeasures, New Delhi will be mired in a more passive political and military situation, and face its most serious strategic setback since 1962.”