Beijing, Sep 8: A Friday editorial in the hawkish Communist Party-run Global Times launched a scathing attack on Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, for his comments earlier this week on the military threat posed by China.
The editorial in Friday’s newspaper said, “Admittedly, Rawat has such a big mouth that he could ignite the hostile atmosphere between Beijing and New Delhi. He not only turns a blind eye to international rules, but also made us see the arrogance probably prevailing in the Indian Army. He advocated a two-front war in such a high-profile manner, but where does the Indian Army’s confidence come from?”
Speaking at a seminar, General Rawat had said that “flexing of muscle” had begun and that China was “salami slicing , taking over territory in a very gradual manner, testing our limits of threshold” which India has “to be wary about”.
He also called for preparedness for a two-front war scenario.
On Thursday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry questioned whether General Rawat was “authorised” to make the remarks. “We don’t know whether he was authorised to speak those words or whether it was spontaneous, or whether it represented the position of the Indian government,” spokesperson Geng Shuang said
He added that China hoped he would “clearly see the trend” set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at their Tuesday meeting in Xiamen where they agreed to shelve differences.
‘IT SEEMS THERE ARE TWO INDIAS’
The Global Times reacted more sharply, suggesting irritation among some in Beijing that the Army Chief had drawn attention to China’s muscle flexing in the border so soon after the Modi Xi meet and BRICS Summit, which State media had framed as a major success for Xi.
The editorial said, “Rawat’s remarks came just a little over a week after China and India ended their border standoff in the Doklam area. The Chinese and Indian leaders just met during the BRICS Xiamen Summit and sent positive signals about bilateral ties. While many people believe it is time to leave the episode of the border standoff behind, Rawat has sent the completely opposite message.”
“Generals in India need to form some basic knowledge about the current situation. Can India bear the consequences when it has both China and Pakistan as its adversaries at the same time? Should the Indian Army simulate a military rivalry with its Chinese counterpart before letting Rawat speak?”
The newspaper wrote that “it seems that there are two Indias, one that is thriving and as one of the BRICS countries the same as China; and the other that keeps provoking and tangling with China. Should we embrace the first India or teach the second India a lesson?”
“Let the first India discipline the second one and the Indians with dignity should take care of the mouths of senior officials like Rawat,” it said. “Their words and the arrogance they show will taint India’s image.” (Courtesy NDTV)