Chinese state media accused India of potentially triggering another showdown with Beijing along their mutual border, citing recent provocative comments by New Delhi officials and visits to the disputed border regions.
The accusations came as China is reportedly “upgrading” its military capabilities and boosting its presence at or near its border with India as it prepares to confront and repel “any threat,” a Chinese armed forces specialist told the communist nation’s propaganda arm the Global Times.
Beijing’s state-owned Global Times now reports:
Indian officials’ recent provocative remarks, as well as a surreptitious visit to controversial border regions, are likely to plunge their country into another showdown with China like last year’s Doklam standoff, Chinese observers warned on Thursday.
India’s former National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon on Wednesday accused China of wanting to “split” India and Bhutan over the Doklam standoff for political gains while asserting the need for an integrated approach in managing the country’s borders, India’s News Agency Press Trust of India declared.
Last year, China’s decision to deploy troops to accompany workers seeking to extend a road into India’s side of the Doklam region triggered a nearly 70-day confrontation between the two countries last year.
China continued to beef up its military presence near Doklam even after the standoff ended, keeping about 1,000 Chinese troops in the region, to the dismay of India
Beijing has also accused New Delhi of disseminating “fake news” that Pakistan is trying to declare Mandarin an official language.
The Pakistani Senate denied the claim but not before some social media pundits claimed China is “taking over” Pakistan and criticized Pakistan for ignoring its native languages.
Global Times reports:
Pakistan’s Senate did reportedly acknowedge on Twitter that “in light of the growing affiliation, collaboration between Pakistan and China under the[One Belt, One Road’s] CPEC [China Pakistan Economic Corridor], courses of the official Chinese language, also known as the ‘Standard Chinese,’ may be made accessible so as to overcome any costly communication barrier.”
China accused India of spreading “fake news” to fuel hostility between Beijing and Islamabad.
“Some Indian media picked up the false news in order to drive a wedge between China and Pakistan,” Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told Beijing’s propaganda arm Global Times on Wednesday.
Pakistan and its ally China consider India their regional rival.
To the dismay of Beijing, India has refused to sign on to the OBOR project, expected to be a massive network of land and sea links connecting Xinjiang, China’s biggest province, to more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa along one route.
Pakistan’s Senate on Tuesday denied that the country would include Mandarin as an official language, saying the state is merely encouraging the learning of the language to further its cooperation with China.
The Senate of Pakistan on Tuesday tweeted that, “in light of the growing affiliation, a collaboration between Pakistan and China under the CPEC, courses of the official Chinese language, also known as the ‘Standard Chinese,’ may be made accessible so as to overcome any costly communication barrier.”
In its 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessment, the U.S. intelligence community warned: “Relations between India and Pakistan are likely to remain tense, with continued violence on the Line of Control [LoC] and the risk of escalation if there is another high-profile terrorist attack in India or an uptick in violence on the Line of Control.”
The LoC separates the portions of Kashmir controlled by India and Pakistan. Kashmir is Muslim-majority Himalayan region claimed by India, Pakistan, and to a lesser extent China.
“We expect relations between India and China to remain tense and possibly to deteriorate further, despite the negotiated settlement to their three-month border standoff in August, elevating the risk of unintentional escalation,” added assessment.