Hu Xijin, Editor-in-Chief of Global Times wrote (September 8) an interesting and less strident, but yet tough, article in the Global Times. Citing people familiar with the frontline situation along the China-India border,  he said the PLA  "has firm control over the overall situation, and that in the event of a war, no matter how it is fought, the PLA will have the absolute certainty of defeating the Indian army. China will not lose an inch of territory along the China-India border. Chinese people can be rest assured". Stating that China's overall deterrence appears not to have been "big enough to deter Indian troops from taking risks", he said India is "still taking chances, misjudging and underestimating China's will to never compromise on the territorial issue" perhaps because it "believes that China does not dare, will not or cannot go to war with the Indian side" as it has "not fought a war for more than 30 years and is committed to peaceful development. Some outside forces question our willingness to fight if necessary, arguing that we will compromise beyond the bottom line in order to ensure development". Stating that "the situation today is very close to that before the outbreak of the 1962 war. As far as I know, the frontline situation is quite tense and there is a serious possibility of direct exchange of fire between the two sides", he warned that "if the Indian army fires the first shot at the PLA, the consequence must be the annihilation of the Indian army on the spot. If Indian troops dare to escalate the conflict, more Indian troops will be wiped out". He added, "Yes, we have some contempt for the combat capability of the Indian army".  He said, "I want to warn New Delhi, it should be responsible for its actions, not to force China to demonstrate its strong will by striking provocative Indian troops who repeatedly crossed the LAC" and asked "if ordinary people are not afraid of Indian provocateurs, how could the PLA be intimidated by them? How can the country be weak in dealing with India? Everyone must believe that China has an upper hand over India. We have all kinds of initiatives in our hands and we will not allow India to take advantage of China, no matter it is negotiation or fighting a war". 

(Comment: The tone of this article is less strident than the usual articles in the Global Times. Worth note are Hu Xijin's assurance to the Chinese people of the PLA's capability of "defeating the India Army" and comment that "if the Indian army fires the first shot at the PLA, the consequence must be the annihilation of the Indian army on the spot". The last hints at the possibility of the conflict being confined to a specific area.)

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