China may conduct ‘small-scale military operation’ to remove Indian troops from Bhutan border region

‘And no matter how the standoff ends, Sino-Indian ties have been severely damaged and strategic distrust will linger’

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China could conduct a “small-scale military operation” to expelIndian troops from a contested region in the Himalayas, according to an article published a Chinese state-controlled newspaper.

Indian troops entered the area in the Doklam Plateau in June after New Delhi’s ally Bhutan complained a Chinese military construction party was building a road inside Bhutan’s territory.

Beijing says Doklam is located in Tibet and that the border dispute between China and Bhutan has nothing to do with India. It has demanded Indian troops withdraw.

Chinese and Indian media have taken a strident approach, with an article in the Chinese state-owned Global Times quoting a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences saying China is preparing to initiate a “limited war” to push Indian soldiers out of the area.

Hu Zhiyong told the paper: “The series of remarks from the Chinese side within a 24-hour period sends a signal to India that there is no way China will tolerate the Indian troops’ incursion into Chinese territory for too long.

“If India refuses to withdraw, China may conduct a small-scale military operation within two weeks.”

He went on to say the military operation would aim to seize Indian personnel lingering in Chinese territory or expel them.

“India, which has stirred up the incident, should bear all the consequences,” he added. “And no matter how the standoff ends, Sino-Indian ties have been severely damaged and strategic distrust will linger.”

An Indian magazine’s front cover last month showed a map of China shorn of Tibet and self-ruled Taiwan also ignited public anger on Chinese social media with thousands of angry posts.

The Indian government has asked political parties to refrain from politicising the issue and allow diplomacy to work. (Click to Site)

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