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Commentary: India must not flirt with disaster

2017/8/9 9:09:16   source:Xinhua

India should underestimate neither China's determination nor its capacity to defend its sovereignty and national interests.

India sent troops into China in June and has maintained a military presence in the Doklam area ever since, an offence to China's sovereignty and a great risk to regional stability.

Doklam is recognized by both India and the international community as part of Tibet Autonomous Region and Chinese sovereign territory.

If there is any unsettled border issue between China and Bhutan then that is an issue between China and Bhutan. It has nothing to do with India. China respects Bhutan as an independent sovereign state and resents India's attempt to turn it into a de facto protectorate.

As a great regional power, India has a duty to act in a more seemly manner rather than recklessly invading its neighbors -- weak or powerful as they may be -- based on childish assumptions and foolhardy speculations.

The bottom line in international justice is that no country may pursue its security at the cost of another's sovereignty.

Despite China's demonstrable goodwill, India has nothing but words. Its External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India would "keep engaging with China to resolve the dispute," and "patience, control on comments and diplomacy can resolve problems."

The truth is that India has not only failed to withdraw its troops but continues to make eccentric demands and is not looking for a resolution.

As of the end of July, more than 40 Indian border troops remained in China. India complains about China's new roads, but it too has been building roads and a large number of armed Indian personnel are massed in the area.

There are not many signs that India is seeking peace. If India is sincere about peace, its troops should never have invaded China in the first place, and ought to immediately and unconditionally get back to their own side of the border.

India's thinking is, at best, wishful: China will eventually back down.

If the situation were not so serious, it would be laughable. China cannot "back down" because China is not in the wrong. It would be both foolish and dangerous for China to allow India to think that it can keep chipping away at Chinese national interests.

The Indian side is deluded if it thinks that China is about to negotiate with an invading force while its national territorial integrity remains infringed indefinitely.

To date, Chinese armed forces have shown the utmost goodwill and restraint. But restraint has limits and with every day that passes the tether shortens.

India must not underestimate China. The People's Liberation Army was built to safeguard peace and to protect national sovereignty, security and development interests.

China, eventually, will do whatever is required to safeguard its interests.

India must dispel all illusions and avoid disastrous consequences.

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