Chinese experts said they fear a greater possibility of military clashes after India’s defense minister said that his country could face “any challenge” to its security.
Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that the Indian armed forces are strong enough to meet any challenge to the country’s security, stressing that lessons have been learned from the 1962 war, the Times of India reported on Tuesday.
“Jaitley’s remarks are the toughest since those recently made by Indian politicians, which also send a signal to China that India is preparing for possible military clashes. And the possibility of military clashes has increased,” Zhao Gancheng, director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times.
Zhao said China should continue to pressure India and prepare for possible military operations.
The Indian Army on Thursday reportedly ordered the evacuation of 100 residents in Nathang village close to the Doklam region. The village is located 35 kilometers away from Doklam, Indian.com reported.
According to the Times of India, Jaitley said India had “learned a lesson” from the 1962 war with China that “the armed forces will have to be made fully capable on our own because even today the nation faces challenges from our neighboring countries.”
Jaitley’s remarks were unwise and did nothing to ease border tensions, Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.
“India has said it hopes to use peaceful ways to solve the problem in the Doklam region, but it did the opposite, including the deployment of more troops near the border,” Hu said.
Hu added that considering the damage made by the current standoff to Sino-Indian ties, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi may make some excuses to beg off from the BRICS summit, which is scheduled in September in China.
The border standoff between China and India in the Doklam region has lasted almost two months.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry told the Global Times on Wednesday that 53 people and a bulldozer from India remain in Chinese territory as of Monday.
On October 20, 1962, China launched a counterattack on the Sino-Indian border after India heightened military provocations in the region and attempted to gain territory by force, according to Neville Maxwell, an Australian journalist who covered the 1962 border war.