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Controlled by extremists, Indian media stokes conflict with China

SAM SPECOIAL-27-01-2021

On January 24, more than two months after the 8th round of Corps Commander Level Meetings, China and India held the 9th round to negotiate a settlement of border confrontations.

Although the official press release had not come, the Indian media began exaggerating the tension on the border, saying that the border troops of the two countries had a physical conflict in the Sikkim section of the Sino-Indian border. At least 20 Chinese soldiers were injured, while only four Indian soldiers got injured ,the media said. 

But Chinese sources quickly responded saying: "The Indian media often have no bottom line and make up false reports. The Indian army army also issued a non-alarmist statement on January 25. It said: “We have received some inquiries about the physical conflict between the Indian troops and the Chinese troops in Sikkim. It needs to be clarified that on January 20, there was a slight confrontation in Naku La area of North Sikkim, which was resolved by the local commanders in accordance with the established agreement between the two sides. The media should not exaggerate the fake report.” 

The 9th round of Corps Commander Level Meeting has not come easily. For a long time, the Indian media has been constantly stirring up controversies, confusing the public. If it goes on like this, it will damage its own reputation and the interests of the country in the end. 

The demarcation of the border between China and India is an issue left over by history, an issue left over by the British colonial era. Since China and India established diplomatic relations 70 years ago, there were opportunities to resolve the border issue.Unfortunately, due to various reasons, those opportunities were missed. At present, both China and India are undergoing national rejuvenation. Awareness of geopolitical competition is rising. The territorial issue involves national feelings in both countries. In addition, there is third-party interference, which makes it more difficult to solve the border issue. 

Over the past few decades, India's border deployment has been far more than China's, whether in terms of troops or military equipment. This is determined by the natural and geographical environment of the border areas. The altitude on the Chinese side of the border is higher. So, it is not necessary for China to have a large number of troops on its side. 

What's more, China persists in building good-neighborly relations and partnership with its neighbors, and wants to resolve the border dispute peacefully with India through consultation and dialogue. Therefore, from this perspective, China does not wish to send a large number of troops to the border areas.

Since last year, the increase in the number of troops on the Chinese side of the border has been a response and countermeasure to the Indians’ substantial increase in troops on their side. China’s fundamental purpose is to defend its territorial sovereignty and interests and to prevent Indian troops from taking further dangerous actions driven by adventurism. 

In recent years, the Indian media has played a very negative role in Sino-Indian relations. Some Indian media have lost their independence and objectivity. They are a propaganda machine controlled by extremist nationalist politicians.  

The reason why China has taken countermeasures against India is that India has gone too far on the border issue in recent years. India has gone too far not only with China, but also with Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. On this issue, there is a general consensus among the people of other countries in South Asia.


(Cheng Xizhong, visiting professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law, senior fellow of the Charhar Institute, former Defense Attache in South Asian countries)