Published: Sun, July 23, 2017
Entertaiment | By Simon Arnold

Sushma Swaraj 'lied' in Parliament on border standoff, says China's Global Times

Sushma Swaraj 'lied' in Parliament on border standoff, says China's Global Times

Lu said Indian troops "illegally trespassed into Chinese territory".

"I expect a long haul-maybe weeks, months or even longer", says Ashok Kantha, former Indian ambassador to China and now the director of the Institute of Chinese Studies in New Delhi. The PLA's long-range combat capability can also allow its troops in remote area to provide fire support to troops at the border.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed Member of Parliament that all countries, including Bhutan, are with India on the Doklam plateau standoff. China's anger and frustration with India flow from the latter's readiness to respond strongly to the diplomatic and security challenges that Beijing poses, while signalling that it is open to dialogue to settle issues causing tensions. Back in 1962, India had "underestimated China's resolution to safeguard its territory", the commentary said, referring to the brief but bloody conflict between the Asian giants. Second, India's military strength is far behind that of China. Similarly, when the Chinese intruded the Sumdorong Chu area in Arunachal Pradesh in 1986, they faced a measured, but strong Indian reaction. "It is called the "inch-by-inch" strategy, where the aim is not to obtain territory overnight, but gradually over 10-15 years".

Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a faceoff in Dokalam area in the southernmost part of Tibet in an area also claimed by Indian ally Bhutan for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area. India has conveyed the same to the Chinese government.

In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang reiterated his country's stand that the withdrawal of Indian border guards to Indian territory is a "prerequisite and foundation for any meaningful talks between China and India".

Chattisgarh MP Chhaya Sharma raised the issue of presence of China in the South China Sea, to which Sushma countered by saying there is no threat to India from Beijing as she "cannot say China is encircling New Delhi in terms of sea presence". Indian government sources claimed this was the first time India's government had discussed the border dispute with a foreign leader. That would impinge on India's vital interest. During the negotiations, United States commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said that China's $347 trade deficit with his country was not the result of natural market forces but the absence of "fair, equitable and reciprocal" relationship between the two countries. We encourage India and China to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions. The two also double as their countries' "special representatives", i.e., lead negotiators, in the long-stalled Sino-Indian border negotiations.

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