China’s state-run Global Times took a dim view of Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s comments last week about shifting India’s military focus to the northern borders. In a stinging editorial titled ‘Indian Army must tone down hawkish rhetoric’, the state media said ‘India is diplomatically immature, with a self-centred approach and preference for impulsive nationalism.’
Drawing attention to Rawat’s ‘harsh comments on China’, the editorial said that dealing with India requires more than one set of rules. “Rawat said last week that India can’t allow its neighbors to drift away to China. This mentality that sees neighbors as an Indian domain is widely adopted in New Delhi. India is diplomatically immature, with a self-centered approach and preference for impulsive nationalism. Dealing with this country requires more than one set of rules,” said the editorial. The state-run Global Times is run by the Communist Party of China and is considered to often reflect Beijing’s views. Also Read: Chinese troops could return to Doklam after winter: Army chief Bipin Rawat
The editorial further said that the ‘Indian army seems to have failed to learn its lesson from the Doklam standoff’ and that if New Delhi continues to provocate Beijing, ‘it should expect harsh punishment from the Chinese army.’ “Confronting China entails an unbearably high strategic cost for India. New Delhi should cherish the amicable policy adopted by Beijing,” it said.
Last week, General Bipin Rawat had stated that India was prepared for any eventuality during the 73-day faceoff in Doklam last year and that the country should start focusing militarily on its northern borders. While addressing his annual media conference on the eve of Army Day, Rawat had said, “We understand China is a powerful country but we are not a weak nation. Militarily, the focus has to shift to the northern borders — for too long we have focused on the western borders. The development of infrastructure needs to be stepped up, and requirement of systems met. We should start preparing for the next kind of warfare, which are cyber and information warfare.” Also Read: Nuclear, chemical weapons falling into hands of terrorists could spell disaster: Army Chief Bipin Rawat
While referring to overlap of influence by both India and China in certain areas, the editorial said ‘Beijing needs to communicate more with New Delhi to make the latter less anxious strategically.’ “The two countries should make it their common goal to avoid strategic conflicts in the neighboring region,” it further added.
As for the 73-day Doklam standoff last year, the Global Times editorial cautioned that while China should handle border disputes as per law to maintain peace, it will firmly hit back at any Indian Army provocations. “On India, China needs to adhere to its principles and refrain from wrangling. It should handle border disputes in accordance with laws to maintain border peace, and meanwhile firmly hit back at Indian army provocations.”
Meanwhile, China had hit out at Army chief General Bipin Rawat for calling Doklam a disputed territory on Monday stating that his “unconstructive” comments were not helpful for maintaining peace at the borders. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said his comments were against the consensus reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping at the BRICS summit last September to revive the ties and preserve peace on the border.