BEIJING, Aug 5 (PTI): China is planning a ‘small scale military operation’ to expel Indian troops from the Doklam area within two weeks, an article in a state-run daily here said on Saturday.
India and China have been locked in a prolonged standoff in the area in the Sikkim sector since June 16 after Chinese troops began constructing a road near the Bhutan trijunction. Bhutan has protested to China, saying the area belonged to it and accused Beijing of violating agreements that aim to maintain the status quo until the boundary dispute is resolved.
India says the Chinese action to construct the road was unilateral and changes the status quo. It fears the road would allow China to cut off India’s access to its northeastern states. “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 Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences was quoted by the Global Times. The expert wrote in the daily that the “Chinese side will inform the Indian foreign ministry before its operation.”
To peacefully resolve the impasse, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that both the sides should first pull back their troops and hold dialogue. Swaraj on Thursday again asserted that war cannot resolve anything. She said India was engaged with China to resolve differences and advocated patience. Her ministry’s spokesman Gopal Baglay on Friday said India was in close coordination with Bhutan over the Doklam issue. But the Chinese media, particularly the Global Times tabloid, has unleashed a barrage of anti-India rhetoric in recent weeks amid tensions between the two countries.
In Saturday’s article, the researcher also cited a state-run CCTV report about live fire exercises in Tibet recently. Hu continued: “India has adopted an immature policy toward China in recent years. Its development is not at the same level as China’s. It only wants to seek disputes in an area which originally has no disputes to gain bargaining chips.” The military standoff comes ahead of the BRICS Summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen early next month, where leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will meet.