Beijing/New Delhi, July 26 A Chinese daily on Tuesday blamed Indian NSA Ajit Doval for the dragging border row even as Foreign Minister Wang Yi, reacting to the crisis for the first time, asked New Delhi to withdraw troops from Doklam.
The heightened rhetoric came Indian Army’s Vice Chief Sarath Chand said China was bound to be a threat to India in the years to come.
Addressing a seminar in New Delhi, Lt. Gen. Chand said: “On the north, we have China which has a large landmass, huge resources and a large standing Army… Despite having the Himalayas between us, China is bound to be a threat for us in the years ahead.”
The Chinese Foreign Minister held India responsible for the stand-off that began last month at Doklam in the Sikkim sector and said the solution to the crisis was “simple” — India must withdraw its troops from Doklam.
Bhutan and India say Doklam is Bhutan’s while China claims the territory.
“The rights and wrongs are very clear and even senior Indian officials have openly stated that Chinese troops did not enter into Indian boundary. So India has admitted it crossed into the Chinese territory,” said Wang.
“The solution is very simple. India must conscientiously pull back its troops,” he said.
An editorial in the state-run Global Times, run by the Communist Party of China, warned India that it will pay “a heavy price” if its troops didn’t exit from Doklam.
The scathing editorial came down heavily on Doval, who will travel to Beijing on Thursday for a meeting of BRICS NSAs, calling him “one of the main schemers” behind the border row. It said that his trip to China won’t help settle the issue.
“Doval is believed to be one of the main schemers behind the border standoff. Doval will inevitably be disappointed if he attempts to bargain with Beijing over the border disputes.”
Saying the withdrawal of Indian troops from Doklam was a “precondition”, the daily said Doval’s visit for a meeting of BRICS NSAs won’t change Beijing’s stance.
“India’s withdrawal from Chinese territory is a precondition and a basis for any meaningful dialogue between the two sides.”
The NSAs meet was in preparation for the BRICS Summit next month and not a platform to address border skirmishes, it said. If Indian troops don’t pull back, New Delhi “will have to pay a heavy price”.
The border row began when India stopped road construction by Chinese troops in Doklam last month, saying the area was Bhutan’s and the road would endanger New Delhi’s strategic interests.
“India is wrong by brazenly crossing the Sino-Indian border and must correct its mistakes,” the Global Times said. “New Delhi must give up all its illusions.”
China doesn’t believe India was ready for a military showdown, it said. “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.”
Meanwhile, a Chinese expert said it was time India was taught a “second lesson” as it continued to be on an “intransigent path”.
“To such an unruly neighbour, China should reciprocate in a language India can understand,” said John Gong, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics, in a Global Times commentary.
Amid increasing global concerns, both China and India have reinforced troops along the border.