India should pull out troops before BRICS summit: expert

Updated 2017-07-20 09:47:23 Global Times

China trying best to reason with India through diplomacy

The military standoff between China and India along their border should be resolved by September before the BRICS summit in Xiamen, Chinese experts said, but how the standoff is resolved depends on India.

"The ongoing border tension is testing China's patience, and if the border tension remains until September, it would be very embarrassing for Indian leaders to come to China to attend the BRICS summit. This is bad for both China and India as well as other BRICS countries," Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"In September, the Doklam plateau may start to experience snow. Weather could force India to withdraw its soldiers, though this is unlikely to happen because India wants to have a bargaining chip with China from the border standoff," Hu said.

"If India wants to achieve its goal by sending troops across the demarcated boundary, China urges India not to do so," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Another possibility is that China takes action as soon as possible to force out Indian troops and defuse tensions to provide a good atmosphere for the BRICS summit.

But if India refuses and escalates tensions, neither China nor India will benefit from it, Hu said.

A New Delhi Television report on Tuesday said that Indian "drones have spotted Chinese soldiers, around 3,000 men and light military hardware, about a kilometer behind its frontline. India, too, has forces and light military hardware behind its frontline."

On Saturday, China Central Television also aired a video about a Chinese mountain infantry brigade's live-fire military drills somewhere in the Tibet plateau.

Indian 'stubbornness'

China is still trying its best to diplomatically resolve its border standoff with India, but it is very hard to understand why India is still so stubborn and refuses to withdraw its troops from Chinese territory, Lin Minwang, a professor at the Center for South Asian Studies of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The Chinese foreign ministry said some foreign diplomats in China have expressed their concerns to China about the border tension between China and India.

"Some foreign diplomats in China, feeling shocked and confused, reached out to us for facts through diplomatic channels," Lu of the foreign ministry said.

China is trying to make it clear to other countries that "India is the troublemaker, not China. China didn't start tensions, and it is trying its best to reason with India and seek a peaceful solution. In other words, China is standing on the moral high ground," Hu said.

India claims it trespassed the Chinese border to "protect Bhutan."

However, Chinese experts said that even if Bhutan has any issue with China, there is no room for India to interfere in relations between China and Bhutan.

"If India adopted a different attitude and measures from the start, such as diplomatic engagement rather than an illegal trespass, China would have listened to its concerns and even considered a compromise because we want to make friends with India," Lin said.

Indian policymakers should understand that China is not a country that India can bully, Lin said.

Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah on Monday said that the only way to resolve tensions with China is to befriend it, as war is not the solution, the Hindustan Times reported.

"Some rational Indian elites support friendly relations with China. But, unfortunately, India is led by a nationalist administration, and reasonable voices in India can't influence policymaking too much," Hu said.

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