15 September 2017

War must be last resort to settle disputes: Chinese General Qiao Liang

By Shaurya Karanbir Gurung

The settlement of the Doklam standoff was "one of the best possible results" and war must be avoided, as peace is the best outcome, says a senior Chinese military strategist. These words written in an opinion piece for China's state run media, Global Times, indicate a marked difference from the earlier string of articles in the Chinese media demanding strong action and even threatening war during the stand-off.

The author, Qiao Liang, who is a Major General in the People's Liberation Army says, "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. If they had a clear understanding of China's strategic positioning, they would know that the settlement of the Doklam standoff was one of the best results possible."

Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a tense border stand-off for more than two months in the area of Doklam, seriously straining their relations.

Liang adds that, "China and India are both neighbors and competitors, but not all competitors must be treated in the toughest way."

He explains that it is not the appropriate time for China to continue constructing the road it was building in the Doklam plateau. "Many people would say that the road construction in China's territory was none of India's business. Is this belief right? 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. " 

The author also writes that war should be avoided. "Many people think that China has a powerful national strength, including a strong military power, thus only war can demonstrate China's power. But resorting to war is irresponsible for the country and its 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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