Even as China and India are engaged in a standoff over Sikkim border, Chinese media on Thursday accused New Delhi of oppressing Bhutan and said that Beijing will support and “fuel” pro-independence appeals in Sikkim to rewrite the Himalayan geopolitics.
Chinese state-run tabloid, Global Times, in an editorial piece said, “New Delhi imposed a similar coercive policy on Sikkim, as they are doing with Bhutan — deposed the king of Sikkim in 1975 and manipulated the country’s parliament into a referendum to make Sikkim a state of India”.
Comparing Sikkim’s history with Bhutan, Global Times said, “The annexation of Sikkim is like a nightmare haunting Bhutan, and the small kingdom is forced to be submissive to India’s bullying”.
The editorial further said, “India has control and oppression over Bhutan, due to which the Himalayan country has never established diplomatic ties with its neighbour China or with any of the country from international community”.
Stating that New Delhi’s regional hegemony is swelling to a tipping point, the editorial said, “China needs to put more efforts into establishing diplomatic ties with Bhutan at an earlier date as well”.
Global Times maintained that India on pretext of ‘helping Bhutan protect sovereignty’ is blocking China’s road construction project in the Sikkim area as India is suspicious that China is building the road to cut off the Siliguri Corridor.
Chinese daily also urged, Beijing to reconsider its stance over the Sikkim issue. It said, “As long as there are voices in Chinese society supporting Sikkim’s independence, the voices will spread and fuel pro-independence appeals in Sikkim”.
Mentioning the way to overpower India, the editorial suggested Beijing to adjust its stance on India-sensitive issues that could be a powerful card to deal with New Delhi.
“However, 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”, the editorial said.
Warning that India has to pay for its provocations, the Chinese government mouthpiece, said, “Beijing is more powerful yet unwilling to face a confrontation with New Delhi. However, we must have enough tools to deter India from provocations”.
China has incessantly asked India to withdraw its troops from the tri-junction disputed area between India-Bhutan-China, allegedly claimed by China as their territory.