China urges India to drop ‘delusion of military strength’

An opinion piece in Chinese media has urged India to drop its war rhetoric and delusion of military strength as in case of war, India’s defeat would be greater than that in 1962.

Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui argued that the ball is now in India’s court, with China showing restraint, and thus there is no further room for compromise from the Chinese side.

Below is the article, published on Global Times, in full:

China has urged India to immediately withdraw troops who illegally crossed the border to the Chinese side, in order to resolve a military standoff that has lasted 19 days, as experts said that India should not be overly confident about its military capability or have the delusion that China is afraid of it and will compromise on sovereignty issues.

The military gap between China and India is even bigger than it was in 1962, the first time the two armies engaged in an armed conflict along the border, analysts said.

There were two further border conflicts between China and India in 1967 and 1987, but neither was as large as that in 1962.

The Sino-Indian border tension caused by the Indian military’s incursion into Doklam in Chinese territory has not eased, but China is still trying diplomatic efforts to solve the problem.

The Chinese foreign ministry on Wednesday slammed India by providing new evidence that India violated its promise on the border issue.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said India’s then-ambassador to China said in 1960 that India agreed the border area between China, Sikkim and Bhutan was not in dispute when he delivered a diplomatic note to the Chinese foreign ministry. Geng displayed a copy of the 1960 note at the press conference.

“We once again urge India to respect border agreements and Chinese territorial sovereignty, and immediately withdraw border troops who have illegally crossed the border and properly handle the incident,” Geng said.

“The ball is in India’s court,” said Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui in an interview with the Press Trust of India news agency. He added that there was “no scope for compromise” over the situation.

Although China has patiently used historic evidence to reason with India again and again, Indian military officials are trying to hype nationalism and even clamoring for war, experts said.

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat previously said that India was ready for a two-and-a-half front war (Pakistan, China and against internal extremists), and China responded by suggesting India “not forget history lessons,” referring to the 1962 border conflict in which China won an overwhelming victory. India’s Defense Minister Arun Jaitley then remarked that India is not what it was in 1962, and China responded by saying neither was China.

Heavier price to pay

“In 1962, the People’s Liberation Army still achieved an overwhelming victory in the military conflict against the Indian army with really poor logistics conditions. Nowadays, the situation is entirely different from 1962, so we hope India will not do anything irrational for its own good, otherwise it will pay more than in the past,” Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

“Not only militarily, but economically and technologically, India has no comparison to China at this moment. We have no hostility to India and we really want to cooperate with India to improve our ties. The door of peaceful resolution is always open as long as India doesn’t shut it,” Hu said.

India has deployed huge military resources in its border areas with China, stationing more than 200,000 troops there. It has also purchased many weapons, such as attack helicopters and artillery, from other countries to strengthen its combat capability in mountainous regions, said Song Zhongping, a military expert who formerly served in the PLA Rocket Force.

“India’s military has more experience in mountain combat, but it has at least three key weaknesses. First, its weapons are mostly imported, so how could it maintain supply after if it engages in total war with China? Second, its logistics are poor, because its plan to build 73 highways for military logistics by 2020 is only a third complete. And third, its weapons [from different countries] aren’t compatible in one comprehensive combat system and its long-range missiles are not accurate at all,” Song added.

The Xinhua News Agency reported the PLA Western Theater Command recently sent an armored cavalry brigade in a military drill in regions 5,100 meters above sea level, the first time a PLA armored brigade is exercising in this type of environment. Photos released by Xinhua show that the brigade is armed with China’s most advanced main battle tank, the Type 96B.

 

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