A week before the National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, is to visit China, even as the Dokalam dispute continues to fester, the Chinese military has warned India not to “harbour any unrealistic illusions.” The Chinese Foreign Ministry also suggested “meaningful dialogue” and offered one “precondition” to end the standoff: India should withdraw its troops from the disputed area.
NSA Doval is set to visit China on July 27 and 28, in time to attend the annual BRICS National Security Advisers’ summit meeting. He will also meet his counterpart, Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi.
Today, in a press conference, defence ministry spokesperson and deputy director-general of information office, Wu Qian, stated that India should not take China lightly. “The willingness and resolve of China to defend its sovereignty is indomitable and we will safeguard our sovereignty whatever the cost,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.
He went on to add, “Shaking a mountain is easy but shaking the People’s Liberation Army is hard.” Qian also confirmed that the People’s Liberation Army, which is the largest standing army in the world, had already undertaken emergency response measures to combat the situation while stepping up deployment and drills in the landlocked area. We had earlier reported how certain reports had alleged that China had moved humongous amounts of military hardware in Sikkim, very close to Dokalam.
“The Chinese border troops have undertaken emergency response measures in the area and will further step up deployment and training in response to this situation,” Wu said, as quoted by the Hindustan Times.
“Shaking a mountain is easy but shaking the People’s Liberation Army is hard.”
“Withdraw Indian Troops”
Qian also stated that the only way the dispute would be solved was if India withdrew its troops from the area. He reiterated that no “meaningful dialogue” on the standoff would serve any purpose until India withdrew its troops. India Today quoted Qian speaking on the occasion of Doval’s visit, saying that while he did not know of what the bilateral meetings would augur, “China and India have a smooth diplomatic channel.”
“The crux now is Indian border troops illegally stayed on China’s territory. Once again we urge India to pull back to the Indian side of the boundary. I want to stress that this is a precondition for any meaningful talks between the two sides.”
Last week, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had spoken in Parliament, saying that “all countries are in India’s support” over the Dokalam issue. Later, the Global Times, which is a Chinese state-controlled media, had accused her of lying.