UPDATE: India’s unreasonable demands in 13th military talks ‘risk new conflict’
Published: Oct 11, 2021 07:18 AM
China India. Photo: VCG

China India. Photo: VCG


After China and India failed to reach an agreement during the latest round of corps commander-level talks over the western section of China-India border issues, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Western Theater Command on Monday slammed India for its unreasonable and unrealistic demands, with India also sparking new incidents along the eastern section of the border recently. Chinese experts have warned of the risks of a new conflict, saying that China should not only refuse to give in to India's arrogant demands on the negotiation table, but also be prepared to defend against another Indian military aggression.

China and India held the 13th round of corps commander-level talks at the Chinese side of the Moldo-Chushul border meeting point on Sunday, during which India insisted on unreasonable and unrealistic demands, adding difficulties to the negotiations, the PLA Western Theater Command said in a statement released on Monday.

Eyeing the overall situation in the China-India relations and the relations between the two countries' militaries, China has made tremendous efforts to ease and cool down the border situation and fully demonstrated its sincerity, said Senior Colonel Long Shaohua in the statement.

China's determination to safeguard sovereignty is unwavering, and China hopes India will not misjudge the situation, cherish the current, hard-earned situation and take actions with sincerity to safeguard the peace and stability at the border by abiding to the relevant agreements and consensus reached by the two sides, Long said.

During the talks, China and India discussed further troop disengagement in the region, but as the Chinese statement suggests, India attempted to push China to make concessions to only India's favor, which is inappropriate from China's consideration of safeguarding sovereignty, territorial integrity and security, Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Monday.

While China focuses on the big picture, wanting both sides to meet each other half way, its patience has run out, and it had to shatter India's arrogant thoughts with the statement, Qian said.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Monday that India has been conspiring to seize territories along the border, and it likely demanded for Chinese territories or unreasonable troop deployment along the Line of Actual Control. It's a very aggressive move and compared with China's attempts to reach mutual accommodation, India is totally against the practical needs of both sides to manage difference.

Due to Indian aggressions on the Chinese land, China and India have been engaged in a border confrontation in the western section of the two countries border since May 2020, highlighted by a clash in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, leading to 20 deaths on the Indian side and four on the Chinese side.

After many rounds of military and diplomatic talks over the past year to resolve the issue, some periodical achievements were reached, including the disengagement in locations like the Pangong Tso. A full disengagement is yet to be realized.

The strong-worded Chinese statement on India's unreasonable and unrealistic demands at the 13th round of corps commander-level talks came shortly after Indian media outlets cited Indian government sources claiming on Friday that the Indian army temporarily detained a few Chinese troops in Zangnan area of southern Xizang (Tibet) for "incursion" in this area.

In response, a Chinese military source was quoted by Chinese state-owned media as saying that the report was purely fabricated.

Chinese border troops conducted a routine patrol on September 28 in the Dongzhang area on the Chinese side of the China-India border and encountered unreasonable obstruction from the Indian military. The Chinese officers and soldiers took countermeasures resolutely and returned after the patrol mission was completed, the Chinese military source said.

Observers noted that Dongzhang is in the eastern section of the China-India border, and this means India has been making aggressive moves from both the western and eastern sections.

With the support from Western countries like the US and driven by domestic populism, India is increasingly making provocations on China. This is compounded by India's economic and racial problems, which makes the Modi government to shift internal contradictions to the outside, Song said.

China should continue to negotiate with India to maintain peace and stability, but without yielding an inch of ground, Song said, noting that in the meantime, China also needs to brace for the possibility of another Indian military aggression, as India is risking a new round of conflict.

If India ignores China's stance displayed in the latest talks, continues or even aggravates its aggressions without changing itself, the possibility of another accident or conflict could arise, Qian said.