BEIJING - China should remain alert of possible border disputes with India in 2018 as India regards China as the biggest threat and some of its military officials have an unfavourable view of bilateral ties, a Chinese expert said in response to a report that India plans to deploy 15 battalions in border areas.
“The Doklam standoff has harmed the mutual diplomatic and military trust between China and India.
Some senior officials in India bear hostility towards China and regard China as the biggest threat,” Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times.
According to Indian media, the Indian government plans to deploy 15 battalions to the country’s two important border forces to fortify defence along the strategic frontiers with Pakistan, Bangladesh and China.
China should stay alert and make preparations for possible disputes like the Doklam one as India is strengthening its military deployment in the border area, Zhao said.
Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat told a press conference last week that China was exerting pressure on India along the border, but asserted that the Indian Army was fully capable of dealing with any security challenge on the northern frontier. He said that India would focus on the northern border.
A public WeChat account affiliated with the People’s Daily said in an article that Rawat’s remarks revealed that India deliberately trespassed the border in June 2017 and had prepared for possible military clashes with China.
“The Doklam area belongs to China. The Sikkim section of the China-India boundary was delimited… China will continue to exert its rights in the Doklam area and firmly safeguard territorial sovereignty,” according to a statement by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang.
“We asked the Indian military to learn their lessons and abide by the boundary treaty in an effort to safeguard the peace and stability in the border areas and create a good atmosphere for developing bilateral ties,” Lu said. - APP