Adopting a tough posture ahead of Saturday’s higher-level military talks with India over the ongoing standoff at Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, the state-run Chinese media has said that China will not give up an inch of territory. However, it had added that there is no reason for China to make India an enemy.
An editorial in Global Times claimed that the reason behind the Ladakh standoff is India’s infrastructure construction along “disputed territory”.
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“The China-India borderline and the LAC are still unclear. In the past, the two militaries had few chances to encounter during patrols. But as both militaries are increasing their modernization level, their infrastructures are also extending to the border areas, leading to more disputes,” the editorial said.
Accusing the US of continuously trying to suppress China strategically, the article alleged that India has gradually formed an illusion of strategic superiority toward China.
“India should not be fooled by the US. Washington is keen on placing a wedge between countries and drawing countries to its own side. But this serves the US’ strategic pressure on China, instead of other countries’ geopolitical interests,” it said.
“China does not want to fall foul of India. Good-neighbourly relations have been China’s basic national policy over the past decades, and China firmly adheres to a peaceful resolution of border disputes. We have no reason to make India our enemy,” it added.
However, it warned that China will not give up an inch of its territory. The editorial went on to assert that China will not be at a disadvantage in any confrontation with India.
“But China will not give up any inch of territory. Once India makes a strategic misjudgment and nibbles away at China’s territory, China will never condone it. China is bound to make strong countermeasures. We believe India knows very well that China will not be at a disadvantage in any China-India military operations along the border area,” it said.
Interestingly, the editorial called for maintaining peace along border areas ignoring the fact that the PLA transgressed the LAC without any provocation taking advantage of a delayed military exercise in the region because of COVID-19 outbreak.
“With China-India cooperation, India will enjoy a peaceful international environment. But if the two countries face a showdown on the border issue, the entire Himalayan region and the Indian subcontinent will face instability. No external force can change this. Maintaining peace along border areas and friendly cooperation is in line with the two countries’ interests,” it said.
In a clear signal that China is furious with India for joining hands with the US, the editorial asked India not to be fooled by Washington.
“As China has made clear its friendly policy toward India, India should return the favour instead of being fooled by Washington. China’s strategic situation is not that terrible. Since we do not fear US suppression, how can we allow some force to use US support to make trouble for China?” it added.
The standoff continues between the armies of India and China on the Ladakh border and all eyes are now on the high-level military talks that will take place on June 6 between Lt Gen level officers of the two forces. Lt Gen Harinder Singh, the general officer commanding of Leh-based 14 Corps, will represent India during these discussions.
Meanwhile, minor de-escalation has been reported by the Chinese forces ahead of these talks. According to reports, China has made a slight retreat at Galwan Valley. The PLA has moved back by two kilometres. The Indian forces have also moved back by two kilometres.