Even as Indian and Chinese soldiers are involved in one of the longest standoff in the Doklam area of Sikkim sector, an article in the Chinese state media, Global Times, today said there is a “bright side” of the standoff too. The fresh and balanced opinion comes after a series of articles published in the Chinese daily in recent weeks threatened India of war if the Indian soldiers didn’t withdraw unconditionally.
The standoff in the Doklam region, which is at the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan, started in June after the Chinese soldiers started building a road in the region, violating a 2012 agreement that the three sides (India, China and Bhutan) would first negotiate on any matter related to the region concerning the three nations. China sought to change the status quo by unilaterally taking up the road construction task but it received a surprise response from India, which is still interested in a peaceful resolution of the dispute. India’s response apparently rattled Chinese diplomats and media as they resorted to war mongering.
However, a new article published in the Global Times on Monday noted the “bright side” of the standoff. It says the two governments have started to know each other. “If one insists the other is a strategic menace, it will lead to a self-fulfilling of prophecy and eventually confrontation. But there is also a silver lining if the two sides can dispel their misunderstandings through communication and take measures to enhance official and people-to-people exchanges, so as to improve bilateral ties.”
The article, however, noted that a “war” between the two sides is not “completely impossible”. However, both sides would stand to lose if they go to war. “India will have its economic momentum disrupted and lose its opportunities to rise,” it says. In the case of China, it notes that the 1962 war “left Indians hostile toward China for decades. A larger war today may give rise to strong animosity between the two sides for centuries.”