China's Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times has written an editorial calling for strict military action against India and warning New Delhi of dire consequences. The editorial says China's PLA can amke India suffer more severe military losses than in the past if it wants to engage in competition. The blunt language from the state-backed newspaper came on Tuesday, following a fresh bout of border flare-up between China and India.
India said its armed forces thwarted an attempt by Chinese troops to occupy a hill on its disputed border in the western Himalayas. Following this, China's military spokesman demanded India withdraw troops that Beijing said had illegally crossed their shared border.
"India ... said it preempted Chinese military activity ... The word 'preempt' shows it was the Indian troops that first took destructive actions, and the Indian troops initiated the standoff this time," the Global Times editorial said.
The state-run newspaper said that India faced a "powerful China" and that New Delhi should not have any "illusions" of support from Washington over the issue.
"But if India wants to engage in competition, China has more tools and capability than India. If India would like a military showdown, the PLA (People's Liberation Army) is bound to make the Indian army suffer much more severe losses than it did in 1962," the article adds.
China says that the south bank of the Pangong Lake where the latest confrontation took place is under its control. It said India is trying to turn it into a new disputed area as a bargaining chip in negotiations. "Obviously, India is taking an aggressive approach on border issues rather than prioritizing stability in border regions."
Tensions between the two armies in the freezing snow deserts of the Ladakh region have been running high for months.
In June, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in hand-to-hand fighting with Chinese troops in the nearby Galwan valley, the neighbours' most serious military clash in more than half a century.
The Global Times is published by the People's Daily, the official newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party.
Both sides had agreed to pull back after that clash, but the Indian Army accused Chinese forces of violating that accord over the weekend.
The op-ed also criticizes the US stand on the India-China conflict. "India should not have any illusions of Washington's support, nor does it need to embolden itself by strengthening cooperation under the Quad framework," it says.
"China-India border issues are bound to be solved by the two. The US can only support India verbally. How can it help India grab Chinese territory? What is really in the minds of the Americans is to let India and China consume themselves so that India can become a more useful pawn in the US' China containment strategy."
(With Inputs from Reuters)