Doklam standoff: China’s defence ministry has distanced itself from reports of “small-scale military operation” against India published in state-backed media agencies. Making international headlines, Global Times had published an article saying that PLA may resort to small scale operation to remove Indian troops from Doklam area on the Sikkim border. Sr. Col. Ren Guoqiang, Spokesman, Defence Ministry of China, said that such reports represent the view of the media and think-tanks. He added that only foreign ministry and defence ministry spokespersons should be referred for any official information, Times of India reports.
The Defence Ministry made these comments while replying to a question from Indian journalists about recent comments from a Chinese think tank expert. “China will not allow the military standoff between China and India in Doklam to last for too long, and there may be a small-scale military operation to expel Indian troops within two weeks,” Hu, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, was quoted as saying by Global Times recently.
“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,” the article said quoting Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.
“The Chinese side will inform the Indian Foreign Ministry before its operation,” he told Global Times. The ‘expert’ further said that India will suffer badly and that ties between the two countries were “severely damaged”.
However, there was no official word from the ministry at that time. “We have already said that war is not an option, and diplomatic channels are being used to defuse the situation. I think we will stick to that position, and not respond to such provocative articles in the Chinese media,” a top Indian diplomat was quoted as saying The Indian Express.