China trying best to use historical lessons to reason with India on border issue: Experts

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BEIJING, July 4 (APP): China is trying its best to use historical
lessons to reason with India and show sincerity in peacefully solving the problem, but if India refuses to listen, then China would have no other choice than to use a military way of solving the problem, said Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.
“India is provoking China because it wants to prove to the US it could
contain China while the Indian prime minister was in the US, Hu told Global Times.
But Hu said the present US President very pragmatic, and he doesn’t
treat India as a valuable ally because New Delhi is too weak to confront Beijing.
Although India always treats China as its biggest rival, China does not
think so as India lags far behind China, Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based military expert said.
Experts also scoffed at India’s military threat after Indian Defense
Minister Arun Jaitely asserted on Friday that the India of 2017 is different from what it was in 1962.
“The gap between the militaries of China and India today is even bigger
than in 1962, and I hope India can keep calm for its own good,” Hu said.
The recent confrontation between Chinese and Indian troops in the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary which was sparked when India moved into the Doklam area of Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, has generated calls for a tough response in China.
Last month, Indian troops crossed into the area with bulldozers in an
attempt to prevent Chinese troops from constructing a road in Yadong county.
The southern Tibet border region has long been the site of territorial
disputes between China, India and Bhutan. More broadly, the Sino-India border remains China’s largest unresolved land territorial dispute, covering thousands of kilometers of boundary in the west and south of Tibet. Face-offs between border guards occur occasionally along the line.
Many Chinese have called for a stern response. “Tolerance and weakness will only foment the Indian army’s threatening manner. If Indian troops cross the border, Chinese soldiers should forcibly drive them away and fire if the efforts to dissuade them fail,” said a Weibo user named Tangshan Jianke.
“We ask the Indian side to withdraw their intruders and investigate the
incident thoroughly. If the Indian soldiers don’t listen, we should take all necessary actions,” said another.
Sun Shihai, honorary director of the Institute of Indian Studies, China
(Kunming) Institute of South and Southeast Asian Studies, commented that the public outcry is understandable.
“Conflicts between Chinese and Indian border soldiers in the undisputed
Sikkim section are rare,” he said. “But the use of force is not recommended.
Both sides have agreed not to use military power to solve the border
dispute. Both are nuclear powers, any kind of war will result in unthinkable consequences.”
Since 2003, China and India have held 19 rounds of border talks, but
little progress has been made. The divergences remain huge. But both sides have kept border disputes under control and prevented them from escalating into chaos or war.
Bilateral ties have met some rifts in recent years, such as India’s
absence from the Belt and Road forum held in Beijing in May, China’s biggest diplomatic event of the year. “Lacking deep trust, they think China is excluding them,” Sun said.
In recent years, India has reportedly been increasing and upgrading its
military facilities along its borders with China and Pakistan, including installing high-resolution surveillance cameras, building railways and airports, and deploying advanced light helicopters.
In 2006, the Nathu La Pass in Yadong at the Sikkim section of the
boundary was opened to traders after closing for more than 40 years. During his 2014 visit to India, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the pass would be open to Indian pilgrims.
However, due to Indian’s recent intrusion near the pass, China announced it would suspend the admittance of Indian official pilgrims to China through the Nathu La Pass out of safety concerns.
“The Sino-India border dispute is essentially a historical burden left
by Western colonists … maintaining peace in the area is a common understanding of the leaders from both sides,” Jiang Jun said. “We hope the Indian side keeps its promise and take concrete measures to settle the confrontation.”