Amid the ongoing standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Sikkim, a new editorial of Chinese state daily Global Times on Friday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, warning him not to push India into a “reckless conflict” with China. The editorial titled, “Modi mustn’t pull India into reckless conflict”, warned, “Indian border troops are no rival to PLA field forces. If a war spreads, the PLA is perfectly capable of annihilating all Indian troops in the border region.”
China has exercised great restraint, demonstrating respect to peace and human life through its decision not to strike at Indian troops who have taken up positions in Doklam, the Global Times said but warned of ‘devastation’ if India continues to provoke its giant neighbour.
“India is concerned that the road China was building in Doklam might threaten the security of the Siliguri Corridor, but does that justify Indian troops’ incursion into another country in utter disregard of international treaties,” the newspaper queried.
Emphasising that the PLA did not strike in the past month when Indian troop trespassed into Chinese territory, the editorial warned of a mismatch in strength between India and China in the case of a military confrontation and urged India to recognize the ‘grave consequences,’ its actions could have.
“The Modi government’s hard-line stance is sustained by neither laws nor strength. This administration is recklessly breaking international norms and jeopardizing India’s national pride and peaceful development.”
It further said “India is publicly challenging a country that is far superior in strength. India’s recklessness has shocked Chinese. Maybe its regional hegemonism in South Asia and the Western media comments have blinded New Delhi into believing that it can treat a giant to its north in the way it bullies other South Asian countries.”
“Its move is irresponsible to regional security and is gambling against India’s destiny and its people’s well-being,” the Global Times said reiterating that India was being aggressive towards a country far superior in military capability.
“Over the past month, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been on the move. We believe that the PLA has made sufficient preparation for military confrontation,” the editorial further said and opined that it would be war with an ‘obvious result.’
“The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be aware of the PLA’s overwhelming firepower and logistics. Indian border troops are no rival to PLA field forces. If a war spreads, the PLA is perfectly capable of annihilating all Indian troops in the border region,” it said.
“The Modi government should stop lying to its people that “India in 2017 is different from India in 1962.” The gap in national strength between the two countries is the largest in the past 50 years. If the Modi government wants to start a war, at least it should tell its people the truth,” it added.
The Global Times commentary on the ongoing stand-off between China and India comes amidst statements issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry this week demanding that India immediately and unconditionally pull back the trespassing border troops.
“If the Indian side truly cherish peace, what it should do is to immediately pull back the trespassing border troops to the Indian side of the boundary,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, describing the action of India as one of “irresponsibility and recklessness.”
He maintained that until Wednesday, there had been 48 Indian soldiers and one bulldozer in the Doklam area, calling this as an illegal intrusion into Chinese territory.