Army Chief Rawat’s ‘Salami Slicing’ Remark Contrary to Views Expressed by Modi, Xi | China

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Beijing: A day after Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat’s said that Beijing was employing ‘salami slicing’ and silently taking over territory and testing India’s threshold, China on Thursday said the General’s remarks were contrary to the views expressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping during their meeting in Xiamen this week.

“As reported by Indian press…we don’t know whether he was authorised to speak those words or it was just his spontaneous words or whether his words represented the position of the Indian government,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.

Reacting to the comments, Geng Shuang told a briefing that, “We have noted the statement by relevant people in India, also we noticed some Indian press remarked that the reports are shocking.”

Geng also questioned whether Rawat was authorised to speak and if his comments represented the Indian government’s position.

Rawat, while speaking at a seminar organised by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies in New Delhi, had said India should be prepared for a two-front war, insisting that China had started “flexing its muscles”, while there seems to be no scope for reconciliation with Pakistan whose military and polity saw an adversary in India.

Reacting to the comments, Geng Shuang told a briefing that, “We have noted the statement by relevant people in India, also we noticed some Indian press remarked that the reports are shocking.”

Geng also questioned whether Rawat was authorised to speak and if his comments represented the Indian government’s position.

“As reported by Indian press…we don’t know whether he was authorised to speak those words or it was just his spontaneous words or whether his words represented the position of the Indian government,” Geng said.

Stressing that China and India are important neighbours and are two large countries, Geng said sound and steady development of ties serves the fundamental interests of both the countries. This is what the international community wishes to see, he said.

At the just concluded BRICS summit, Chinese President Xi stressed to PM Modi that it’s important for relations between the two countries to get on “the right track.” Xi also mentioned Jawahar Lal Nehru’s Panchsheel treaty, saying that China was prepared to work with India to seek guidance from five principles of Panchsheel.

“We hope India could view China’s development in a correct and rational way. We need to show to the world that peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation is the only right choice for the two countries,” Geng quoted Xi as telling Modi during their meeting on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit.

Prime Minister Modi had also said that the Indian side is willing to work with China to maintain steady development of bilateral ties, Geng said.

“We should not treat each other as rivals. We should make cooperation the mainstream and the two sides should work together to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” Geng said.

“Hope that this military official would see clearly this trend and contribute to development of China and India relations and see something more in that regard,” he said in response to Rawat’s remarks.

The army chief said that there was no denying that India has to stay prepared for conflict on its northern and western borders.

The troops of the two countries had been locked in a standoff in Doklam since June 16, which ended recently, after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the disputed area. India had deployed about 350 Army personnel in the area.

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