Chinese Dragon bares its fangs

If India would like a military showdown, the People’s Liberation Army is bound to make the Indian Army suffer much more severe losses than it did in 1962, hollered the hawkish Global Times in an editorial on the latest military flareup in Pangong Tso.

This followed a rare ‘survey’ by the Chinese government mouthpiece last week claiming 90% people were in favour of retaliatory action against India. Taking off from there, it said in the editorial that Chinese people had shown support for their government which “won’t seek to provoke India, but does not (sic) allow it to encroach on China’s territory”.

Global Times seemed to be itching for action as it urged the government to take military action “when necessary”. “China is several times stronger than India, and India is no match for China. We must smash any Indian illusion that it can deal with China by colluding with other powers, such as the US. The history of Asia and the world has told us that any force keen on opportunism tends to bully the weak while fear the strong. India is a typical opportunist when it comes to the China-India border issue,” it said.

It also said India should not have any illusions of Washington’s support and that India shouldn’t embolden itself by strengthening cooperation under the Quad framework.

China has been using coercive tactics in pursuit of territorial and maritime claims in the South and East China Seas, as well as along its border with India and Bhutan, the Pentagon added.

China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Beijing has built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. Both areas are stated to be rich in natural resources and are vital to global trade.

“China’s leaders use tactics short of armed conflict to pursue China’s objectives. China calibrates its coercive activities to fall below the threshold of provoking armed conflict with the United States, its allies and partners, or others in the Indo-Pacific region,” the Pentagon said in its annual report on China to the Congress.

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