11 July 2017

News Report: Chinese Expert Rakes Up Kashmir Issue Amid the Current Standoff With India

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could intervene in Kashmir at Pakistan’s behest, using the same rationale India has given to act on behalf of Bhutan, a Chinese expert has said. Indian experts said China is already invested in the Pakistan side of Kashmir in the Belt & Road Initiative.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — A leading Chinese expert has written in the state-run Global Times that India's logic of intervening in the Doklam area dispute to defend Bhutan opens an opportunity for China to enter Kashmir, should Pakistan request it.

"Even if India were requested to defend Bhutan's territory, this could only be limited to its established territory, not the disputed area. Otherwise, under India's logic, if the Pakistani government requests, a third country's Army can enter the area disputed by India and Pakistan, including India-controlled Kashmir," Long Xingchun, Director at the Centre for Indian Studies at China West Normal University, wrote in an article in the Global Times.

China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Doklam area near the Bhutan tri-junction area for the past three weeks after a PLA construction party attempted to build a road.

Indian defense experts said the article is yet another instance of Chinese state media ratcheting up tensions with their bizarre reasoning. Moreover, it shows Chinese hypocrisy when they are already entered on Pakistan's behalf in the Pakistan side of Kashmir and pushing projects as part of Belt & Road Initiative despite India's opposition.

"This is again one of those bizarre positions Chinese media has taken in recent weeks. And China has already entered on the Pakistan side of Kashmir through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The Indian government has taken a very clear stand on both the CPEC as well as the current standoff in Sikkim sector where Chinese Army is indulged in altering the status quo. India's as well as Bhutan's stand is very clear and they have merely objected to Chinese Army constructing a road up to the Doklam plateau. The Chinese have been indulging in encroaching disputed territory whether in the Line of Actual Control or even in the South China Sea," Major General Vinod Saighal (Retd.) told Sputnik.

Since the standoff began, the Chinese state media has indulged in aggressive propaganda, carrying a series of articles questioning and threatening India's stand.

But, this is the first time Pakistan and Kashmir have been brought into the narrative.

Moreover, this has happened after a great degree of bonhomie displayed between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during an informal meeting of BRICS leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Both leaders showered accolades on each other and the Indian PM lauded China's efforts in pushing various initiatives under the BRICS initiative.

India and China share a 3,488-km boundary stretching from Jammu and Kashmir in the north to Arunachal Pradesh. The current standoff is near Sikkim section, which lies in the middle sector and shares a 220-km boundary.

This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.