As the standoff between India and China continues in the disputed border region of Doklam, a heated exchange on a Chinese TV news show has gone viral, providing a nice encapsulation of the thinking on both sides of the dispute.
In a debate show on CGTN, the English-language arm of China Central Television (CCTV), a retired Indian Army major general, Ashok Mehta, squared off against Chinese Ministry of National Defense Senior Colonel Zhou Bo. Mehta started things out by accusing Chinese state media of inflaming tensions by writing the “most aggressive, most belligerent” stories and making threats about taking India to war.
About a minute in, Zhou becomes tired of listening to Mehta speak, interjecting: “The point is, you are on Chinese territory.”
Undeterred, Mehta tries to continue on, but is soon interrupted again by Zhou who appears to prove the retired Indian general’s point.
“General, you have been talking too much, this is not the right way of having this conversation,” Zhou says. “Let me just use a few seconds to say, you are in Chinese territory, so if you do not want a war, that is fine, so you’ve got to go away from Chinese territory.”
You can watch the full exchange below:
Back in June, tensions began escalating in the remote corner of the Himalayas where India, China and Bhutan meet with the arrival of Chinese construction brigades intent on building a road on the narrow plateau of Doklam. For decades, both China and Bhutan have claimed ownership over Doklam. To help back up its claim, Bhutan called in its ally, India, who deployed troops along the border.
On Wednesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry released a lengthy statement asserting that the dispute may finally be quieting down with only 40 Indian soldiers left on the border out of an original 400. However, India has flatly rejected these reports, claiming that it hasn’t withdrawn any troops.
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