Beijing: China needs to prepare for the standoff with India near the Sikkim sector becoming a long-term situation, an article in a state-run Chinese daily said today, warning that more such conflicts can trigger “an all-out confrontation” along the entire Line of Actual Control.
The Op-ed article in the Global Times claimed that the Indian action to stop Chinese troops from building a road near the Doklam plateau was a “blatant infringement on China’s sovereignty”. The road is near the trijunction with Bhutan.
India has expressed concern over the road construction, fearing it may allow Chinese troops to cut India’s access to its northeastern states. It has conveyed to China that the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India.
The Chinese action has led to a month-long military standoff. The article said that if India “stirs up conflicts in several spots, it must face the consequence of an all-out confrontation with China along the entire LAC (Line of Actual Control)”.
Of the 3,488-km-long border India shares with China from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-km section falls in Sikkim. The article in the tabloid daily, which is part of the ruling Communist Party of China media group, said, “As the confrontation goes on, China needs to get ready for the face- off becoming a long-term situation and at the same time, needs to maintain a sense of rationality.”
“China doesn’t advocate and tries hard to avoid a military clash with India, but China doesn’t fear going to war to safeguard sovereignty either, and will make itself ready for a long-term confrontation,” it said.
It said that there are voices within China that call for the Indian troops to be “expelled immediately”, while Indian public opinion “is clamouring for war with China”. “However, the two sides need to exercise restraint and avoid the current conflict spiralling out of control,” it said.