Upping the rhetoric over the ongoing Doklam standoff, an editorial in the English-language China Daily, which focuses mostly on an international audience, has warned that the countdown to a clash between India and China has begun.
Titled, 'New Delhi should come to its senses while it has time', the editorial says that the "window for a peaceful solution is closing."
"The countdown to a clash between the two forces has begun, and the clock is ticking away the time to what seems to be an inevitable conclusion," the piece reads, commenting that a clash can be easily avoided be avoided if New Delhi heeds Beijing's demand that Indian troops unconditionally step back from the standoff site in Doklam.
Soldiers of the Indian Army and China's People's Liberation Army have for seven weeks been locked in a high-stakes, but peaceful standoff. The face-off was sparked after Indian troops stopped a Chinese PLA unit from extending a road on the Doklam plateau in a region contested between China and Bhutan
The China Daily editorial, which is just the latest in what has been a series of jingoistic articles that have been churned out by the state-backed media in China, says that Beijing wants to avoid conflict.
"Beijing has time and again sent the message that to avoid conflict all India needs to do is withdraw all its troops from an area that based on historical treaties, historically expressed agreements and long-exercised control both have long agreed is Chinese territory," the piece says.
China Daily goes on to refer to a recent Chinese Ministry of Defence statement to say, "There is a "bottom line" to the restraint shown by China to India's trespass... Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear will have got the message. Yet New Delhi refuses to come to its senses and pull its troops back to its own side of the border."
The editorial then reiterates points that have previously been raised by Chinese media - that India has entered China's territory and that New Delhi's "audacity in challenging China's sovereignty may come from its own sense of inferiority and insecurity in the face of China's rapid rise to prominence in the region."
"India's trespassing is changing the long and legally established status quo in the area and is thus an act that China has no option but to resist," the editorial continues as it, again, says that the ball is in New Delhi's court as far as preventing a conflict is concerned. "...being at loggerheads serves neither side any good, and a violent clash is still avoidable, even at this late stage," the article reads.
Concluding with a Chinese proverb, the piece ends, "He who stirs up trouble should end it, as a Chinese proverb goes. India should withdraw its troops while the clock is still ticking. It will only have itself to blame if its stubborn refusal to heed the voice of reason leads to consequences it regrets."