China is angry over Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat for calling Doklam a disputed territory. In an article, Chinese state media Global Times has quoted the country’s experts to urge Beijing to prepare for border clashes with India. On Monday, China issued an angry rebuttal to General Rawat’s comments. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said his comments went against the consensus reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping at the BRICS summit last September to bring ties back on track and preserve peace on the border.
Three days ago, General Rawat had said India needed to shift focus from its border with Pakistan to that of China and spoke of pressure being exerted by Beijing along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
“Last year, India-China relations have witnessed some twists and turns,” Lu had said while referring to Modi-Xi consensus and the high-level talks since December to improve the ties. “The dialogue and consultation have shown sound momentum of improvement and development,” he said, adding, “Under such background, the unconstructive remarks by the Indian senior official (Gen Rawat) not only go against the consensus reached by the two heads of state but also do not conform to the efforts made by the two sides to improve and develop bilateral relations.”
Lu categorically said China was not happy with General Rawat’s remark on Rawat. “I have made myself clear, if the senior official according to the report referred to the Donglang – I think you are clear about our position – Donglang belongs to China and has always been in the effective jurisdiction of China,” Lu asserted.
Chinese media urges the country to prepare for border clashes:
In an article headlined as “China should prepare for more Indian border clashes: expert”, Global Times attributed to an expert as saying that Beijing should remain alert of possible border disputes with India in 2018.
“The Doklam standoff has harmed the mutual diplomatic and military trust between China and India. Some senior officials in India bear hostility toward China and regard China as the biggest threat,” Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, was quoted as saying.
Referring to media reports that India plans to deploy 15 battalions to the country’s border forces, Zhao said, China should “stay alert and make preparations for possible disputes like the Doklam.”
According to Global Times, China’s People’s Daily had reacted to General Rawat’s remarks in an article, saying, “Rawat’s remarks revealed that India deliberately trespassed the border in June 2017 and had prepared for possible military clashes with China.”