China warns In­dia of its ‘re­solve’ amid stand­off

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

China yes­ter­day warned In­dia not to “push your luck” by un­der­es­ti­mat­ing Bei­jing’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to safe­guard what it con­sid­ers sov­er­eign Chi­nese ter­ri­tory, amid an on­go­ing stand­off be­tween the two neigh­bors over a con­tested re­gion high in the Hi­malayas. De­fense min­istry spokesman Col Wu Qian re­it­er­ated China’s de­mand that In­dian troops pull back from the Dok­lam Plateau, an area also claimed by In­dian ally Bhutan where Chi­nese teams had been build­ing a road to­ward In­dia’s bor­der.

“China’s de­ter­mi­na­tion and re­solve to safe­guard na­tional se­cu­rity and sovereignty is un­shak­able,” Wu said at a news con­fer­ence to mark the up­com­ing 90th an­niver­sary of the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army. “Here, I wish to re­mind In­dia, do not push your luck and cling to any fan­tasies,” Wu said. “The 90year his­tory of the PLA has proved but one thing: that our mil­i­tary means to se­cure our coun­try’s sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity has strength­ened and our de­ter­mi­na­tion has never wa­vered. It is eas­ier to shake a moun­tain than to shake the PLA.” In­dia has called for both sides to with­draw forces and a ne­go­ti­ated set­tle­ment to the stand­off that be­gan last month af­ter Chi­nese troops be­gan work­ing to ex­tend south­ward the road from Yadong in Ti­bet.

While the sides have ex­er­cised re­straint thus far, heated rhetoric in both Bei­jing and New Delhi has raised con­cern over a re­newal of hos­til­i­ties that re­sulted in a brief but bloody frontier war be­tween the sides in 1962. The nu­clear-armed neigh­bors share a 3,500kilo­me­ter bor­der, much of it con­tested, and China acts as a key ally and arms sup­plier for In­dia’s archri­val, Pak­istan.

Vo­cif­er­ous na­tion­al­ism

The cri­sis is ex­pected to be dis­cussed when In­dian Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Ajit Do­val vis­its Bei­jing at the end of this week for a se­cu­rity fo­rum un­der the BRICS group of large de­vel­op­ing na­tions that in­cludes Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China and South Africa. The stand­off has been fu­eled in part by a mus­cu­lar and in­creas­ingly vo­cif­er­ous na­tion­al­ism among both the Chi­nese and In­dian publics against the back­ground of com­pe­ti­tion for dom­i­nance be­tween the two for in­flu­ence in Asia.

In­dia has felt threat­ened by the grow­ing pres­ence of China’s navy, di­plo­mats and state-backed com­pa­nies in the In­dian Ocean re­gion, while Bei­jing re­sents closer re­la­tions be­tween New Delhi and Wash­ing­ton. In­dia’s de­ci­sion not to par­tic­i­pate in a mas­sive Chi­ne­se­funded push to de­velop in­fra­struc­ture and trans­port routes in Asia, known as the “One Belt, One Road” ini­tia­tive, has also ran­kled Bei­jing.

Keep­ing up a weeks-long pro­pa­ganda as­sault on New Delhi, of­fi­cial Chi­nese news­pa­pers yes­ter­day again la­beled In­dia’s ac­tions on the Dok­lam Plateau as il­le­gal and threat­en­ing to China’s se­cu­rity. “Even if the stand­off is re­solved diplo­mat­i­cally, it has al­ready crip­pled the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship. This will have a long-term im­pact on Sino-In­dian ties,” Chi­nese In­dia scholar Long Xingchun wrote in the Global Times, a na­tion­al­is­tic tabloid pub­lished by the rul­ing Com­mu­nist Party.

BEI­JING: Chi­nese para­mil­i­tary po­lice­men prac­tice self-de­fense tac­tic in the com­pound of the State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice.

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