Beijing: As the standoff between two neighbouring countries enters its third month, the Chinese expert on Saturday said Beijing may conduct a ‘small-scale military operation to expel Indian troops within two weeks’ after six ministries and institutions made remarks on the incident within the past 24 hours.
According to a report in Chinese state-run, Global Times, two ministries and four institutions, including the Chinese foreign ministry, the defence ministry, the Chinese Embassy in India and the People's Daily, released statements on the military standoff between China and India in Doklam.
The report quotes Chinese expert, Hu Zhiyong, saying, “The series of remarks from the Chinese side within a 24-hour period sends a signal to India that there is no way China will tolerate the Indian troops' incursion into Chinese territory for too long.”
Hu, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said, “If India refuses to withdraw, China may conduct a small-scale military operation within two weeks".
Hu also said the military operation would aim to seize Indian personnel illegally lingering in Chinese territory or to expel them adding that “the Chinese side will inform the Indian Foreign Ministry before its operation.”
Blaming New Delhi for the border tensions between India and China, Hu said, "India should bear all the consequences. And no matter how the standoff ends, Sino-Indian ties have been severely damaged and strategic distrust will linger.”
Mentioning the earlier military drills of People’s Liberation Army in the Tibetan Region near the standoff area, the expert also drew a point that the drill was to warn Indian side that China is ready to give a befitting reply if needed.
Another expert, Zhao Gancheng, director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said, “The exercises are a sign that China could use military means to end the standoff and the chances of doing so are increasing as the Indian side is still saying one thing and doing another.”
Stating that the patience of China and its public is wearing thin, Zhao said, “China does not want dispute to impact the upcoming BRICS summit in September which will be attended by India in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province.”
Highlighting that the war would worsen the relations between the two neighbouring countries, Zhao said, “If current standoff ends in a military clash, bilateral ties would suffer for at least five years, and India may stir up troubles with China, which may cause tensions among China's other neighbours.”
The report also cited External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s Thursday remarks in parliament over standoff that war was not a solution and wisdom is to resolve issues diplomatically, However, report said, she refrained from saying that “military readiness is always there as the military is meant to fight wars.”
The end for the Sikkim standoff is not seen on cards as China is in complete denial for dialogue over the border issues unless India withdraws troop from the region which Beijing claims to be its territory.
The spat worsened when China tried to build a road at the strategically important Chicken’s Neck area, also called as Doklam, which interestingly falls under disputed tri-junction land between India-Bhutan-China.