War must be last resort to settle disputes: Chinese General

The settlement of the border row between India and China was “the best result possible”, a Chinese military strategist has said.

“The reason why so many Chinese people paid attention to the China-India border standoff in the Doklam area is that they are unfamiliar with China’s strategic positioning,” said Qiao Liang, a Major General in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and a military strategist.

“If they had a clear understanding of China’s strategic positioning, they would know that the settlement of the Doklam stand-off was one of the best results possible.

“China and India are both neighbours and competitors, but not all competitors must be treated in the toughest way,” he said.

Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a tense border stand-off for over two months on the Doklam border, seriously straining their relations.

Amid repeated PLA threats to oust the Indian soldiers from Doklam, claimed by both Bhutan and China, New Delhi and Beijing withdrew their troops late last month following diplomatic negotiations.

Indian troops entered Doklam area to stop Chinese soldiers from building a road which New Delhi said would affect its strategic interests.

“Many people would say that the road construction in China’s territory was none of India’s business. Is this belief right?” the author wrote in state-run Global Times late on Tuesday.

“It is reasonable to some extent because road construction in this area is not a matter of right and wrong, but we need to understand that it is not always right to do something right at any time. Only doing the right thing at the right time is correct.

“So, with this principle in mind, one can understand that the Doklam confrontation was solved in the way it should have been. And the most important thing is that when you understand China’s strategic positioning and you cannot bring the entire world under your domination, you are willing to leave well enough alone.”

The author added: “Resorting to war is irresponsible for the country and the country’s future as war has always been the last resort to solve problems. Whenever there may be a way to solve a conflict without war, war should be avoided.”

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