By Duo Mu
On June 16, Indian border guards crossed over the Sikkim section of the China-India border to the Chinese side, triggering a face-off with Chinese troops. 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. 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 clamoring for war with China. However, the two sides need to exercise restraint and avoid the current conflict spiraling out of control.
One important reason that prompted India triggering the border dispute this time is its worry over China’s development in recent years. As two big developing countries, India and China both had a history of past colonization, and now both are enjoying fast economic growth. But China has risen quickly to be the world’s No.2 economy. As time is on China’s side, New Delhi is deeply concerned with China’s rapid rise. Provocation at the border reflects India’s worry and attempt to sound out China.
China doesn’t recognize the land under the actual control of India is Indian territory. Bilateral border negotiations are still ongoing, but the atmosphere for negotiations has been poisoned by India. China doesn’t advocate and tries hard to avoid a military clash with India, but China doesn’t fear going to war to safeguard sovereignty either, and will make itself ready for a long-term confrontation.
According to the Indian media, Indian troops are stationed at the border area and have set up logistical support. They even claim that India will continue the confrontation with China at the Sikkim section of the China-India border until the Chinese troops withdraw. In response, China must continue strengthening border construction and speed up troop deployment and construction in the Doklam area. These are legitimate actions of a sovereign country.
The 3,500-kilometer border has never been short of disputes. Since the 1962 border war, the Indian side has repeatedly made provocations. China must be prepared for future conflicts and confrontation. 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.
If India plans to devote more resources in the border area, then so be it. China can engage in a competition with India over economic and military resources deployment in the border area. With growing national strength, China is capable of deploying resources in remote border areas. It is conducive to the economic growth of these regions, as well as to safeguarding integration of China’s territory. Road and rail in the Tibetan area have been extended close to the border area with India, Nepal and Bhutan. It’s a competition of military strength, as well as a competition of overall economic strength.