China has used the state-controlled media to “warn the Indian side that… if the Indian Army fires the first shot at the PLA, the consequence must be the annihilation of the Indian Army on the spot. If Indian troops dare to escalate the conflict, more Indian troops will be wiped out.”
In an article in <em>Global Times</em> today, editor-in-chief Hu Xijin wrote, “People familiar with the frontline situation along the China-India border told me that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has a firm control over the overall situation, and that in the event of a war, no matter how it is fought, the PLA will have the absolute certainty of defeating the Indian Army. China will not lose an inch of territory along the China-India border. Chinese people can be rest assured.”
Well, Mr. Hu, ‘certainty’ is always ‘absolute’; why do you have to emphasize the PLA’s supposed superiority so vociferously?
One of the underlying messages of the article is: “Chinese people can be rest assured.”
It also highlights Beijing’s self-righteousness. “Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, China’s several foreign wars were all the result of the other side’s miscalculation and underestimation of China’s determination to fight.”
In other words, the entire world has been tormenting China, imposing wars on it, but the dragon is a peace-loving beast which is incessantly being victimized. Or so Beijing wants the world to believe.
India too underestimated China, and “paid a heavy price.” According to Hu, “Before the 1962 war, India had no fear, encroaching on China’s territory and challenging the PLA, and eventually India paid a heavy price. The situation today is very close to that before the outbreak of the 1962 war. As far as I know, the frontline situation is quite tense and there is a serious possibility of direct exchange of fire between the two sides.”
He continues to harp on the theme of China is peaceful: “China really wants peaceful development, so we haven’t been a war with other countries for more than 30 years, and now we find that some outside forces are misreading China’s desire for peace as weakness.”
But threats are also quite clear: “Many Chinese are regretfully thinking that perhaps peaceful development is not the destiny of China as a great power, and probably fighting a war to demonstrate China’s determination that it ‘dares to fight’ is the price China has to pay. I want to warn New Delhi, it should be responsible for its actions, not to force China to demonstrate its strong will by striking provocative Indian troops who repeatedly crossed the LAC (Line of Actual Control).”
Also, “China’s policy toward India is backed by strength and if ordinary people are not afraid of Indian provocateurs, how could the PLA be intimidated by them?… China has an upper hand over India.”
The article is a mix of lies, threats, and dissembling. The only troublemakers, according to Hu, are “Indian provocateurs”; “China really wants peaceful development”; “China has an upper hand over India”; “many Chinese are regretfully thinking that perhaps peaceful development is not the destiny of China as a great power.”
Only Chinese hegemons can believe this fiction..