By adopting a “hard line stance” towards China, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pushing his country into war and “gambling” with the destiny of its people, a Chinese daily said. An editorial in the state-run Global Times said Modi should be aware of the “overwhelming” strength of the People’s Liberation Army which is capable of “annihilating” Indian troops in Doklam. The tone of the Chinese government and its media have become shriller over the past few days, with its Defence Ministry telling India not to test its patience. India’s response has been measured, always calling for dialogue to solve the crisis in Sikkim sector. The editorial said India had challenged a country which was far more superior in strength.
“It is a war with an obvious result,” the editorial pronounced. It said India’s recklessness had “shocked” the Chinese. “The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be aware of the PLA’s overwhelming firepower and logistics. Indian border troops are no rival to PLA field forces. If a war spreads, the PLA is perfectly capable of annihilating all Indian troops in the border region.” “The Modi government’s hard line stance is sustained by neither laws nor strength. This administration is recklessly breaking international norms and jeopardizing India’s national pride and peaceful development.”
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“Its move is irresponsible to regional security and is gambling against India’s destiny and its people’s well-being. If the Modi government refuses to stop, it will push its country into a war that India has no power to control,” it went on. The daily said India cannot bully China like other countries in South Asia. The editorial comes a day after the Chinese Defence Ministry said that India should not test its patience over Doklam and that “restraint has a bottom line”. The Ministry told India to “give up the illusion of its delaying tactic, as no country should underestimate the Chinese forces’ confidence and capability”.
Adding to the growing belligerence, Global Times said that the PLA was combat-ready but has exercised restraint as it “cherishes peace”. “We want to give peace a chance and allow India to recognize the grave consequences.” “The PLA did not strike in the past month when Indian troops savagely trespassed into Chinese territory. If the Modi government takes China’s goodwill for weakness, its recklessness will only lead to devastation. Despite China raising the ante over the Doklam stand-off, India has maintained that it will continue to engage with Beijing diplomatically to resolve the border standoff and that war is not a solution.
“Our stand is that we maintain restraint in language and keep patience and engage in diplomacy. No solution will be gained out of war because even after war, talks are required. A solution cannot be derived out of war,” India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in Parliament on Thursday. “Times are changing and it is economic power and not strategic power that decides strength of a nation…If there is a dialogue there will be a solution,” she said. A standoff between Indian and Chinese troops is continuing along the border in Doklam in Sikkim sector close to the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan, since June 16. The standoff started after China attempted to build a road in Bhutanese territory and Indian soldiers stopped them.