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Armed conflict 'inevitable' if Doklam standoff continues: Chinese media

Beijing on Monday warned India that it would defend its territorial integrity at all costs

BS Web Team | Agencies 

Indo-China border
India and China have been locked in a border standoff for over a month at Doklam. Representative image

Room for peacefully ending the will shrink the longer Indian troops "remain on the Chinese side" of the mutually recognised section of the Indo-China border, an article published in the English-language Chinese daily said on Monday.

An article published by the China Daily, which is a state-run Chinese paper, warned that since both sides had reportedly increased their troop levels in the Doklam region, a military clash between and India and China could erupt if the situation was not handled properly. 

A Chinese "military response may become inevitable" if Beijing's appeal to India to pull back its troops and "respect the demarcated border" continued to be ignored, the report said. Further, it warned New Delhi to not misinterpret China's restraint as a sign of weakness. 

Warning India against making a "dangerous miscalculation", the report said that China had both the means and the will to safeguard its territorial integrity. 

The area at the strategic tri-junction of India, Bhutan, and China, which is under Chinese control but claimed by Thimphu, has been the scene of a standoff since June 16. China, for its part, has accused Indian troops of transgressing into its territory, while India has expressed concern over China constructing a road in the disputed Doklam area near Sikkim and has conveyed to Beijing that such an action would represent a significant change of status quo with "serious" security implications for India. 
 
Echoing the sentiments expressed in the report, Chinese Ministry of National Defence spokesperson Wu Qian on Monday urged New Delhi to immediately withdraw all troops that have "illegally" entered China, stating that the nation would defend its territorial sovereignty "at all costs". 

According to agency reports citing Xinhua, the spokesperson said, "The Chinese border troops have taken initial counter measures at the site and will step up targeted deployment and training."  

"China will safeguard its security interests at any cost. India should not leave things to luck and not harbour any unrealistic illusions," Wu said ahead of the 90th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), according to reports

The  report further added,"It is high time India corrected its wrongdoing and respected the demarcated boundary by withdrawing its troops from Chinese territory."

Wu's statements come ahead of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval's visit to Beijing on July 27 and 28 for a meeting of NSAs from BRICS countries. 

First Published: Mon, July 24 2017. 13:40 IST
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