NEW DELHI – Government-controlled Chinese media on Friday accused the Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj of “lying” to parliament and also dismissed as “fantasy” her suggestion that both India and China withdraw their soldiers simultaneously for a dialogue.
Sushma had told the parliament on Thursday that China had attempted to “unilaterally” change the status quo at the Bhutan trijunction, following which the Indian troops intervened. India, she said, has the support of all countries. “They understand that the stand taken by India on the issue is not wrong,” PTI quoted her as saying.
A day later, an editorial in China’s state-controlled Global Times called the statements “a lie”.
“Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj told her country’s parliament on Thursday that ‘all countries are in India’s support,’ and said India is alert to the need to protect its security…. She was lying to the parliament,” the editorial said. “First, India’s invasion of Chinese territory is a plain fact…. Second, India’s military strength is far behind that of China.”
Rejecting New Delhi’s demand for removal of troops in the region, the Global Times said, “China will by no means agree to the withdrawal of troops from both sides in order for talks to be held…. Doklam is Chinese territory…. China cannot afford to lose an inch” of territory.”
The editorial also threatened Delhi with military action. “China has already shown its tolerance and calmness to the largest extent”, it said. “If New Delhi does not withdraw its troops, the last option for China is fighting against India and ending the conflict without diplomatic means.”
“China cherishes peace. But peace cannot be achieved at the expense of China’s lost territory, and 1.4 billion Chinese people will not accept that peace,” the editorial claimed.
China says that on June 16, Indian troops crossed the border at Sikkim to stop the construction of a road that it is entitled to build on its own turf on a plateau it calls Donglang.