New Delhi, Sept 14: Days after India and China withdrew their troops from Doklam following diplomatic negotiation, a Major General of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) expressed unhappiness towards hawks who have been demanding military action against New Delhi post the border standoff. In his article in state-run Global Times late on Tuesday, Major General Qiao Liang, who is also a strategist, stated that the anti-India commentators do not have a “clear understanding of China’s strategic positioning”. The Chinese government has been under pressure from hawks who’ve been asking why it agreed to a settlement instead of waging war against India.
“The reason why so many Chinese people paid attention to the China-India border standoff in the Doklam area is that they are unfamiliar with China’s strategic positioning,” Qiao Liang wrote. “China and India are both neighbours and competitors, but not all competitors must be treated in the toughest way,” the Major General added. The PLA general, who co-authored ‘Unrestricted Warfare’, a well-received book discussing how a nation like China could defeat a technologically superior opponent (such as the US) through “smart power”, stressed that the war should be the last resort to settle disputes.
“Resorting to war is irresponsible for the country and the country’s future as war has always been the last resort to solve problems. Whenever there may be a way to solve a conflict without war, war should be avoided,” Qiao Liang wrote. He also said the settlement of the border row between India and China was “the best result possible”. “Many people would say that the road construction in China’s territory was none of India’s business. Is this belief right?” asked Liang.
“It is reasonable to some extent because road construction in this area is not a matter of right and wrong, but we need to understand that it is not always right to do something right at any time. Only doing the right thing at the right time is correct. So, with this principle in mind, one can understand that the Doklam confrontation was solved in the way it should have been. And the most important thing is that when you understand China’s strategic positioning and you cannot bring the entire world under your domination, you are willing to leave well enough alone,” the Major General explained.
Indian and Chinese troops were in a standoff situation on the Doklam plateau in the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction for over two months after a construction party of PLA entered the area in mid-June ostensibly to build a road there. While India and Bhutan maintained that it violated the status quo in the tri-junction, Beijing claimed that it was Chinese territory. The imbroglio ended just towards the end of August.