Racking up its rhetoric against India, a state-run Chinese daily on Thursday warned that Beijing may support “pro-independence appeals in Sikkim” if New Delhi will not stop going after “regional hegemony” through the boundary face-off. “In the past, China was wary of India playing the Dalai Lama card, but this card is already overplayed and will exert no additional effect on the Tibet question. But if Beijing adjusts its stance on India-sensitive issues, it could be a powerful card to deal with New Delhi,” state-run Global Times said.
The newspaper, known because of its extreme rhetoric, said that China must reconsider its position over Sikkim. The daily said that “Although China recognized India’s annexation of Sikkim in 2003, it can readjust its stance on the matter”. “There are those in Sikkim that cherishes its history as a separate state, and they are sensitive to how the outside world views the Sikkim issue. As long as there are voices in Chinese society supporting Sikkim’s independence, the voices will spread and fuel pro-independence appeals in Sikkim,” the daily added. Sikkim is a robust card against the Dalai Lama, it added. The tabloid daily of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) also blamed India of exerting “starling control and oppression over Bhutan.”
“As a result, Bhutan has not established diplomatic ties with China or any other permanent member of the UN Security Council. Through unequal treaties, India has severely jeopardized Bhutan’s diplomatic sovereignty and controls its national defense,” it added. Adding to this, it accused India of imposing a “similar coercive plan on Sikkim before”. It said that “The small neighbor’s revolts over sovereignty in the 1960s and 1970s were brutally cracked down on by the Indian military. New Delhi deposed the king of Sikkim in 1975 and manipulated the country’s parliament into a referendum to make Sikkim a state of India. The annexation of Sikkim is like a nightmare haunting Bhutan, and the small kingdom is forced to be submissive to India’s bullying.”
The daily added that India following its freedom inherited the brutal colonial policies of Britain and pursued “regional hegemony at the sacrifice of tiny Himalayan nations”. “New Delhi’s regional hegemony is boldly shown by the border face-off this time. Using the excuse of ‘helping Bhutan protects its sovereignty’, India brazenly obstructs China’s road construction in Chinese territory,” it added. The daily was apparently talking about Bhutan’s diplomatic protest in China blaming that the Chinese troops of building the road in Doklam, a territory claimed by both countries. The daily said that “New Delhi’s regional hegemony is swelling to a tipping point. The country has to pay for its provocations”. “With certain conditions, Bhutan and Sikkim will see strong anti-India movements, which will negatively affect India’s already turbulent northeast area and rewrite southern Himalayan geopolitics,” it cautioned.
“The Sino-India relationship is complicated. Beijing is more powerful yet unwilling to face a confrontation with New Delhi. But meanwhile, we must have enough tools to deter India from provocations,” it said. The paper also carried an article saying a security analyst as stating that India should “drop delusion of military strength” with China as the armed forces gap between the two countries is superior to in 1962. A research fellow at the state-funded Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Hu Zhiyong, said that “In 1962, the People’s Liberation Army still achieved an overwhelming victory in the military conflict against the Indian army with really poor logistics conditions. Nowadays, the situation is entirely different from 1962, so we hope India will not do anything irrational for its own good, otherwise, it will pay more than in the past”.
“Not only militarily, but economically and technologically, India has no comparison to China at this moment. We have no hostility to India and we really want to cooperate with India to improve our ties. The door of peaceful resolution is always open as long as India doesn’t shut it,” Hu added.