Chinese state media today again warned India on the Doka La standoff, accusing New Delhi of ''bullying'' and saying that if it doesn't back down in the latest border dispute , Beijing may well begin supporting "pro-independence appeals in Sikkim".
Supporting Sikkim's "independence" will "be a powerful card to deal with New Delhi", said an editorial in the hardline Global Times, which is run by the Communist Party of China's People's Daily newspaper.
The comments came just a day after the same paper wrote that a "shameless" India must be taught "a bitter lesson" on the 20-day-old Doka La standoff and added that India "will suffer greater losses than in 1962" if war were to break out today (See: 'Shameless' India needs 'bitter lesson', says Chinese media).
The editorial strongly advocated that "Beijing should reconsider its stance over the Sikkim issue", as it believed India "has to pay for its provocations" and because China needs to end "New Delhi's regional hegemony" which "is swelling to a tipping point".
"Although China recognised India's annexation of Sikkim in 2003, it can readjust its stance on the matter. There are those in Sikkim that cherish its history as a separate state, and they are sensitive to how the outside world views the Sikkim issue," it said.
The editorial went as far as to suggest China could "support" Sikkim breaking away from India by fuelling "pro-independence appeals" there.
"As long as there are voices in Chinese society supporting Sikkim's independence, the voices will spread and fuel pro-independence appeals in Sikkim," said Global Times.
The editorial accused India of having "brutally cracked down" on Sikkim's "revolts over sovereignty" in the 1960s and 1970s.
"New Delhi deposed the king of Sikkim in 1975 and manipulated the country's parliament into a referendum to make Sikkim a state of India," the editorial said.
India's "annexation" of Sikkim "is like a nightmare haunting Bhutan", the state-backed publication said.
Global Times yet again accused India of coercing Bhutan to play on its side in this latest border dispute, which involves China constructing a road in the Doka La area in Sikkim, which it calls Donglang.
"India has startling control and oppression over Bhutan , and as a result, Bhutan has not established diplomatic ties with its neighbour China or any other permanent member of the UN Security Council. Through unequal treaties, India has severely jeopardised Bhutan's diplomatic sovereignty and controls its national defence," said the Global Times editorial.
This alleged "control" India has over Bhutan is evident in this border dispute, it said.
"New Delhi's regional hegemony is boldly shown by the border face-off this time. Using the excuse of 'helping Bhutan protect its sovereignty,' India brazenly obstructs China's road construction in Chinese territory," it said.
The editorial said China needs to make more efforts to establishing diplomatic ties with Bhutan.
''Unfair treaties between India and Bhutan that severely violate the will of the Bhutanese people should be abolished," said the editorial.