China, India must end border row before BRICS Summit: Chinese expert

By Gaurav Sharma 

Beijing, July 20 (IANS) China and India should resolve their border dispute in Doklam before the BRICS summit in September and much of the onus is on New Delhi, a Chinese expert has said.

Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said India must withdraw its soldiers from Doklam to end the row that began more than a month ago.

But India might not do so since Doklam was a bargaining chip for New Delhi to deal with China, he said.

Hu said it would be “embarrassing” for India to attend the BRICS Summit in China if the issue was not resolved by then.

The annual Summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will take place in the first week of September.

“The ongoing border tension is testing China’s patience, and if the border tension remains until September, it would be very embarrassing for Indian leaders to come to China to attend the BRICS summit. This is bad for China and India as well as other BRICS countries,” Hu was quoted as saying by the Global Times.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend the five-member summit in Xiamen.

China was embarrassed when India did not attend the Belt and Road summit in May in Beijing. India opposed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the chief component of the Belt and Road because it passes through the disputed Kashmir between New Delhi and Islamabad.

“In September, the Doklam plateau may start to experience snow. Weather could force India to withdraw its soldiers though this is unlikely to happen because India wants to have a bargaining chip with China from the border stand-off,” Hu said.

“Another possibility is that China takes action as soon as possible to force out Indian troops and defuse tensions to provide a good atmosphere for the BRICS summit.”

Chinese state-run media and experts have repeatedly warned India of military conflict if it didn’t withdraw troops from Doklam.

Hu said if India did not pull back, neither country will benefit.

“China is trying to make it clear to other countries that India is the troublemaker, not China. China didn’t start tensions, and it is trying its best to reason with India and seek a peaceful solution. In other words, China is standing on a moral high ground,” Hu said.

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