New Delhi: Exploring the option of “war” to “resolve” the Doklam stand-off with India, Chinese experts have said that the country was mulling a “small-scale military operation” to “expel” Indian troops from the Doklam area “within two weeks”.
An article in the State-run Global Times said, “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.”
“Six ministries and institutions made remarks on the incident within the past 24 hours,” the article in the daily run by the Communist Party of China said.
India and China are stuck in a stand-off in Doklam area near Sikkim which China claims to be its part and alleged that Indian troops entered the area illegally. However, India has maintained that “only dialogue was the way forward to solve the issue”.
Quoting Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, the article said, “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 Chinese side will inform the Indian Foreign Ministry before its operation,” he told Global Times.
Hu also said India would have to “bear all the consequences”, and that ties between the two countries were “severely damaged”.
While there was no official response from the Ministry of External Affairs, Indian government sources downplayed the threat and said they did not wish to add anything beyond what was said by ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay on Friday and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday.
“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 said.