China doesn't fear war over Doklam: state-run media

18 July 2017

Keeping up its aggressive rhetoric on the Doklam standoff, Chinese media today said Beijing "doesn't fear going to war" and that any escalation of the situation on the Sikkim border would see India "face the consequence of an all-out confrontation".

A commentary in the Global Times, a tabloid under the state-owned People's Daily known for its hardline views, accused India of "repeatedly making provocations" since the 1962 war, the latest of which, according to writer Duo Mu, was the standoff near the India-China-Bhutan junction.

"China must be prepared for future conflicts and confrontation," the commentary said. "China can take further countermeasures along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). If India stirs up conflicts in several spots, it must face the consequence of an all-out confrontation with China along the entire LAC."

It also called on China to "continue strengthening border construction and speed up troop deployment and construction in the Doklam area".

"These are legitimate actions of a sovereign country," it said.

The commentary warned that while "China doesn't advocate and tries hard to avoid a military clash with India", at the same time "China doesn't fear going to war to safeguard sovereignty either, and will make itself ready for a long-term confrontation."

The commentary was the latest in the continuing sharp rhetoric from Beijing over the 16 June standoff. This weekend, State media showed videos of a major PLA exercise in Tibet involving live-fire drills and anti-aircraft guns (See: China conducts 'live-fire exercises near Arunachal in Tibet).

The Global Times said "India's action this time is a blatant infringement on China's sovereignty."

"As the confrontation goes on, China needs to get ready for the face-off becoming a long-term situation and at the same time, needs to maintain a sense of rationality," it said.

"Within China, there are voices calling for the Indian troops to be expelled immediately to safeguard the country's sovereignty, while Indian public opinion is clamouring for war with China. However, the two sides need to exercise restraint and avoid the current conflict spiralling out of control."

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