Among Chinese media publications, we often quote China Daily and Global Times. Both are strictly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, though Global Times is far more nationalistic. The Hong-Kong based South China Morning Post (SCMP) is a bit more independent than the other two. That's not to say that they would directly confront and contradict Beijing policy, if they did, Beijing would probably have the editors abducted, thrown into a pit and tortured. But they are able to print analyses that are a bit more balanced than the pure propaganda of the other two. According to an SCMP analysis, both China and India are preparing for an armed conflict in the event that negotiations fail.
The article quotes a Chinese military source:
"The PLA (People's Liberation Army) will not seek to fight a ground war with Indian troops early on. Instead it will deploy aircraft and strategic missiles to paralyse Indian mountain divisions stationed in the Himalayas on the border with China. [Indian troops will probably hold out for] no more than a week."
Chinese military sources believe that any conflict will be controlled, and not spill over into other disputed areas, of which there are currently three along the 2,000 km border.
However, an Indian defense expert, says that a conflict will not be limited, and could extend into the Indian Ocean.
China is vulnerable in the maritime area, because China is heavily reliant on imported fuel and, according to figures published by state media, more than 80 per cent of its oil imports travel via the Indian Ocean or Strait of Malacca.
Dr Rajeev Ranjan Chaturvedy of the National University of Singapore says:
"Any Chinese military adventurism will get a fitting reply from the Indian military.
Certainly, it will be detrimental for both, but if Beijing escalates the conflict, it will not be limited. Perhaps, it may extend to the maritime domain as well.
If China engages in a military offensive against India, New Delhi will take all necessary measures and will respond to Chinese actions in its own way. Why only a border war? It could escalate to a full-scale India-China war".... South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)