Beijing: Ratcheting up its rhetoric against India, a state-run Chinese daily today warned that Beijing may support "pro-independence appeals in Sikkim" if New Delhi does not stop pursuing "regional hegemony" through the border face-off.
"In the past, China was wary of India playing the Dalai Lama card, but this card is already overplayed and will exert no additional effect on the Tibet question. But if Beijing adjusts its stance on India-sensitive issues, it could be a powerful card to deal with New Delhi," state-run Global Times said. The paper, known for its aggressive rhetoric, said that China should reconsider its stance over Sikkim.
"Although China recognised India's annexation of Sikkim in 2003, it can readjust its stance on the matter," the daily said.
"There are those in Sikkim that cherish its history as a separate state, and they are sensitive to how the outside world views the Sikkim issue. As long as there are voices in Chinese society supporting Sikkim's independence, the voices will spread and fuel pro-independence appeals in Sikkim," it added.
Sikkim is a powerful card against the Dalai Lama, it said. The tabloid daily of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) also accused India of exerting "startling control and oppression over Bhutan." "As a result, Bhutan has not established diplomatic ties with China or any other permanent member of the UN Security Council. Through unequal treaties, India has severely jeopardised Bhutan's diplomatic sovereignty and controls its national defence," it said.
It also accused India of imposing a "similar coercive policy on Sikkim before". "The small neighbour's revolts over sovereignty in the 1960s and 1970s were brutally cracked down on by the Indian military. New Delhi deposed the king of Sikkim in 1975 and manipulated the country's parliament into a referendum to make Sikkim a state of India. The annexation of Sikkim is like a nightmare haunting Bhutan, and the small kingdom is forced to be submissive to India's bullying," it said.