Indian media provokes border peace, escalates tensions

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/16 23:23:40

A new clash broke out between Chinese and Indian soldiers in Ladakh Tuesday, Indian media quoted officials as saying on Wednesday. Indian troops prevented the People's Liberation Army (PLA) from entering Indian territory twice, and soldiers pelted each other with stones, resulting in some injuries, according to the report.

But the Indian army refused to verify the report, and the Chinese military hasn't revealed any information either. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she was not aware of the latest incident, merely stating China's stance on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at Wednesday's news conference.

Both sides have kept a low profile on the Ladakh conflict, in contrast to their attitude on the Doklam faceoff.

It seems that neither Beijing nor New Delhi wants to turn Ladakh into another hot-spot issue. Even if the incident did happen as described, the two sides are still focused on the Doklam stand-off.

People familiar with the Sino-Indian border know that before the Doklam face-off, frictions occurred frequently between Chinese and Indian troops along the LAC, yet most of the frictions were settled through consultation.

The Indian media often hyped up these incidents, claiming that Indian soldiers thwarted the incursion of the Chinese military. But Beijing has no interest in fighting a war of words with New Delhi.

Friction along the Ladakh LAC is different from the Doklam face-off in nature, as the Sino-Indian border in the Sikkim section where Doklam is has long been demarcated. China's military strength far outweighs that of India. This fact cannot be changed by hyping up a few border incidents and adopting a provocative posture.

Beijing has the full capability to send forces across the LAC at other points besides Doklam, and pressure New Delhi to pull its troops back to Indian territory in the Sikkim section. If China takes this action, the Indian military will have to withdraw from the Doklam area in exchange for China's retreat.

The PLA is still reluctant to take measures against India's provocations. This is our goodwill to the Indian people. Objectively speaking, China has no reason to be awed by India. But Beijing hopes that New Delhi can wake up, and therefore while preparing for military action, Beijing wants to give peace a chance.

Indian society knows that it is not in Indian territory that their soldiers are locked in a face-off with the PLA. They might also understand that it is a reckless move to cross the border into another country in the name of national security. India's security concerns regarding the Siliguri Corridor are not an excuse for India to violate international rules.

India cannot ensure that it can stay unpunished for keeping its forces on Chinese territory. Its immediate withdrawal is the most reliable way to safeguard national security.

Posted in: OBSERVER

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