Monday, Jul 23, 2018 | Last Update : 09:15 PM IST

China doublespeak: Talks peace on N Korea, war on Doklam?

Published : Aug 13, 2017, 2:20 am IST
Updated : Aug 13, 2017, 2:21 am IST

Amid strife with Delhi, Xi advises Trump not to escalate tensions with Pyongyang.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (Photo: AP)
 US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (Photo: AP)

New Delhi: In a classic demonstration of Chinese double-standards, President Xi Jinping on Saturday asked his US counterpart, Donald Trump, to avoid remarks and actions that could escalate the already-tense situation in the Korean peninsula over North Korea’s aggressive behaviour. 

But while China is trying to play the saner voice in this dispute, Beijing has been using the same aggressive language against New Delhi on the Sino-Indian military stand-off in Bhutan’s Doklam area. 

Despite New Delhi responding with restraint, China has been provoking India with daily veiled and open threats from its government officials and state-run media about using military force against India, even as it doles out sagely advice to Washington on maintaining peace and calm. Despite its daily staple of threats, China also claims that it is patiently waiting for India to withdraw troops from Doklam.

Beijing’s desperation stems from its awareness of the military and economic consequences of starting a war with India, which has a strong military.

On Saturday, Mr Xi and Mr Trump spoke over phone to discuss the escalating tension after North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un threatened the US to fire missiles at Guam, a US island territory, following the US sponsored a resolution imposing new economic sanctions on Pyongyang over its missile and nuclear weapons programmes. 

Mr Xi told Mr Trump that China is ready to work with the US to “appropriately resolve” the issue, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. 

“The concerned parties should avoid remarks and actions that could escalate tensions on the peninsula,” Mr Xi was quoted as saying. “The relevant side must at present exercise restraint, and avoid words and actions that exacerbate tensions on the Korean peninsula,” Mr Xi reportedly said.

But Beijing is unwilling to show the same wisdom in its dealings with New Delhi over the Doklam stand-off. China regards Doklam as its territory and calls it Dong Lang even as it has conveniently ignored a Bhutanese government statement in June calling Chinese road-construction in the area a violation of the understanding between China and Bhutan. Instead, Beijing has claimed, without any proof, that the Bhutanese have acknowledged they don’t have any claim over the Doklam area.

China has demanded that India withdraw its troops from Doklam even as it is unwilling to withdraw its own troops. India had sent troops to the area to prevent the Chinese PLA from constructing a road there after Bhutan had sought New Delhi’s help under the special relationship that exists between both nations. 

Tags: xi jinping, donald trump, doklam dispute
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi