China could stoke unrest and aid "anti-India movements" in Sikkim to help it secede from India, an influential Chinese daily has warned in an unusually strong editorial, amid a soaring border row between New Delhi and Beijing.
Taking the anti-India rhetoric to a completely different level, the state-run Global Times, which on Wednesday virtually called for war over the stand-off in Doklam area, said: “Bhutan will also witness anti-India stir, which will negatively affect India’s already turbulent northeast area and rewrite southern Himalayan geopolitics”.
The daily said creating trouble for India in Sikkim and neighbouring Bhutan was one of the “tools” to deter New Delhi from “provocations”.
The newspaper said Beijing was not afraid of India using the Dalai Lama card which has been “overplayed”.
“Beijing should reconsider its stance over the Sikkim issue. Although China recognized India’s annexation of Sikkim in 2003, it can readjust its stance on the matter,” the editorial warned.
“There are those in Sikkim that cherish its history as a separate state, and they are sensitive to how the outside world views the Sikkim issue. As long as there are voices in Chinese society supporting Sikkim’s independence, the voices will spread and fuel pro-independence appeals in Sikkim.”
Sikkim was a kingdom until 1975 and became India’s 22nd state. It is one of five Indian states that share border with China.
The latest stand-off between India and China has occurred in the Sikkim sector over the Doklam region, which is disputed between Beijing and Thimphu.
The ownership of the area at the tri-junction of Bhutan, India and China is yet to be decided. The Chinese were building a road there which was protested by Thimphu and the Indian Army stepped in to stop the road construction.
“With certain conditions, Bhutan and Sikkim will see strong anti-India movements, which will negatively affect India’s already turbulent northeast area and rewrite southern Himalayan geopolitics,” it said.
“New Delhi’s regional hegemony is boldly shown by the border face-off this time. Using the excuse of ‘helping Bhutan protect its sovereignty’, India brazenly obstructs China’s road construction in Chinese territory.”
The daily said India “oppresses” Bhutan and “has startling control over” it.
“Through unequal treaties, India has severely jeopardized Bhutan’s diplomatic sovereignty and controls its national defence.”
It said it was because of India that “Bhutan has not established diplomatic ties with its neighbour China or any other permanent member of the UN Security Council”.
“India imposed a similar coercive policy on Sikkim before. The small neighbour’s revolts over sovereignty in the 1960s and 1970s were brutally crushed by the Indian military.”
“New Delhi deposed the king of Sikkim in 1975 and manipulated the country’s parliament into a referendum to make Sikkim a state of India. The annexation of Sikkim is like a nightmare haunting Bhutan, and the small kingdom is forced to be submissive to India’s bullying.”
“After independence, New Delhi inherited the brutal colonial policies of Britain and pursues regional hegemony at the sacrifice of tiny Himalayan nations,” it continued.
“New Delhi’s regional hegemony is swelling to a tipping point. The country has to pay for its provocations.”
“The world should pay attention to New Delhi’s bullying of tiny Himalayan countries. The international community must be aware of Bhutan’s dilemma and prevent India from oppressing this small kingdom.”
“China should lead the international community in restoring Bhutan’s diplomatic and defence sovereignty. Unfair treaties between India and Bhutan that severely violate the will of the Bhutanese people should be abolished. China needs to put more efforts into establishing diplomatic ties with Bhutan at an earlier date as well.”
“In the past, China was wary of India playing the Dalai Lama card, but this card is already overplayed and will exert no additional effect on the Tibet question. But if Beijing adjusts its stance on India-sensitive issues, it could be a powerful card to deal with New Delhi.”
“The Sino-Indian relationship is complicated. Beijing is more powerful yet unwilling to face a confrontation with New Delhi. But meanwhile, we must have enough tools to deter India from provocations.”
The editorial comes a day after Beijing accused India of “misleading” its public about the proximity of Doklam to India.
The Foreign Ministry maintained that Doklam, which the Chinese refer to as Donglong, is not at the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan as claimed by New Delhi. China has also said that the present stand-off could hit border talks with India. (IANS)