Doklam Standoff: Chinese Media Recalls 1962 War to Warn India
While India has maintained that it will rely on diplomatic channels to resolve the current standoff with China at Doklam in Sikkim sector near the Bhutan trijunction, the Chinese media seems to be issuing a warning and stirring nationalist sentiments by republishing photographs from the 1962 Indo-China war along with editorials recalling the conflict.
The month-long tension between the two neighbours began after the construction of a road in Doklam region after which Bhutan raised its concerns with India.
People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of Communist Party of China, in an online article ‘People’s Daily to India: Borderline is bottom line’ republished its editorial from 22 September 1962 titled ‘If This Can Be Tolerated, What Cannot?’ which warned India that it would “not tolerate the provocation by the Indian Army”.
The newspaper’s Weibo and WeChat accounts also shared an image of the region that highlights the area “trespassed by India”.
According to Indian Express, Sina.com.cn even published 25 “rare” photos from the war narrating the sequence of the conflict till the ceasefire.
Chinese news agency Xinhua in its article ‘India must understand borderline is bottom line’ from 10 July writes that the “Doklam area has long been recognised as Chinese sovereign territory with a clear history and legal basis”.
China Daily, in its piece ‘India's moves demand strict vigil’ published on 10 July, stated that Bhutan never asked for India’s intervention and that India is “not entitled at all to claim the so-called disputed territory on behalf of Bhutan”.
Global Times called India a hurdle when it comes to diplomatic ties between Bhutan and China. It said that India’s “right” to prosper as a nation can only be achieved by “maintaining good relations with neighbours”.
In another article, the English tabloid said that India “cannot afford to mess up” its bilateral relationship with China.