China has told India not to “push its luck,” as tensions continue to simmer between the two nations over the military standoff in Doklam.
The Chinese military have demanded India to withdraw its troops immediately from the region or risk escalation.
India’s contemporary relationship with China began in 1950. Between 1960 and 1987, India and China have been involved in three major military conflicts. A bilateral relationship has since been established but both nations have often been pitted against one another as they are two of the fastest growing economies in the world. The two countries have never completely resolved their border problems and Chinese troops have reportedly infringed upon the Indian Territory over the years.
In June 2017, a skirmish broke out between Indian and Chinese troops at the Doklam plateau. Indian soldiers had intervened the construction work being conducted by China in the region. The area is a disputed territory between Bhutan (an Indian ally) and China. For an overview of the Doklam clash.
Both sides have increased their military presence in the region and neither party has yielded.
Indian officials have said that there are about 300 soldiers on either side of the plateau. During a news conference, Chinese Defense ministry spokesman Col. Wu Qian reiterated China's demand for the withdrawal of Indian troops. He said, “China's determination and resolve to safeguard national security and sovereignty is unshakable. Here, I wish to remind India, do not push your luck and cling to any fantasies. The 90-year history of the PLA has proved but one thing: that our military means to secure our country's sovereignty and territorial integrity has strengthened and our determination has never wavered. It is easier to shake a mountain than to shake the PLA."
India has maintained that it is open to engaging with China once both sides withdraw their troops. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said, “If China unilaterally changes the status quo of the trijunction point, then that is a direct challenge to our security.”
India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval will be in China this week to meet with his counterparts from Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (Brics). He will be holding a bilateral discussion with Yang Jiechi, State Councilor of China, where they might discuss a possible solution.
Our assessment is that India should not ignore China’s threat. This is probably one of the few times that the Chinese have issued such a statement. The latest statements coming from the Chinese state media and the military show that the country is ready for open combat. If the Chinese intent is clear, then it wouldn’t help playing down the threat. It will only serve to infuriate them further. We advocate highest level of diplomacy now.