History of India-China dialogue between military and even diplomatic officials precludes any optimism about easing border tensions. Read more
New Delhi: The August 2 nine-hour visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan sparked a crisis in US-China relations, casting a dark shadow over peace in the region and, in general, on relations between China and the West. .
Many in India believed that the Chinese provocations on the LAC, especially eastern Ladakhwill fall as China works to direct its anger at the United States for “daring” to send a senior representative to an area China calls part of its territory.
But no relaxation of Chinese provocations along the LAC seems likely due to developments in Taiwan. Sometime before or later after Pelosi landed in Taiwan, military officials from India and China met on the Indian side of the LAC.
History of India-China dialogue between military and even diplomatic officials precludes any optimism about easing border tensions.
After 16 rounds of talks, the Chinese continue to occupy nearly 1,000 km of what India considers to be its territory in eastern Ladakh. China’s fighter jets continue to fly along the LAC, clearly demonstrating no peaceful intent. And the showdown between the two armies has been going on since May 2020.
Well, it can be taken as a relief that although its rhetoric against India is strong, Beijing has not followed its chosen path of expressing its anger against the United States.
It may not mean much in practical terms that China sanctioned Nancy Pelosi and her family after her visit to Taiwan – the first by a senior US official in 25 years. But at least symbolically, it is a strong measure. China will not sanction any Indians.
The world has reason to be concerned about the military drills China conducted in the Taiwan Strait as a sign of disapproval of Pelosi’s visit.
China is also said to have fired missiles around the sea surrounding Taiwan, reminding the world of its oft-repeated statement that “if necessary” it will physically invade Taiwan with its military.
The tension around Taiwan has posed a danger to the international shipping route around Taiwan, which has implications for supply chains. China may feel that such an action will suffocate Taiwan, but its consequences will be felt far beyond.
China has also banned some imports from Taiwan in the hope that they will harm Taiwan’s economy. A small nation, no longer recognized by most of the world, Taiwan is an economic powerhouse; it still has non-diplomatic, especially commercial, relations with many countries. India is one of them.
One of the biggest factors that attracts a large part of the world to Taiwan is its semiconductor industry which produces chips used in most modern electronic gadgets. A country as big and strong as China cannot affect Taiwan’s export of semiconductors.
The point of dwelling a bit on Taiwan is to show that it has a thriving economy despite all the threats to its existence from mainland China and its expansionist communist rulers. And as far as anyone remembers, Taiwan, which refused to join communist China in 1949, did not cede even an inch of its territory to China; it can be said that China, with all its might, has not been able to seize an inch of Taiwanese territory, even after telling the world to withdraw from Taiwan.
During all these years of confrontation between China and its offshore “territory”, Taiwan, China has seized several thousand kilometers of Indian territory, starting with the 1962 war with India.
What it shows is that while Taiwan may be important to China, its activities to harm, intimidate and humiliate India have continued unabated since the early 1960s – after a brief period of brotherly relations in the 1950s.
China’s hostile policy towards India has not changed and China will not be relaxed in its aggressive and hostile approach towards India.
There have, of course, been occasional moments in the current Modi (Indian Prime Minister Narendra) era when the top leaders of the two countries hugged and kissed each other and even had a sort of chat while sitting on a swing . These illusory moments were photo-op diversions that did not lead to any appreciable derogation from Chinese bad intentions towards India.
No matter how overblown the tension between the United States and China over Taiwan is, it seems unlikely to lead to a war between the world’s two largest and most powerful armies. There are cases where one country’s slashing has not led to a nightmarish clash that can engulf the entire world. China is not exactly a benign great power, but the hotheads in power since Beijing realize very well the consequences of starting a war that spreads across the world.
Yet China will not dilute its policy towards India, including continued military activity along the LAC, even when faced with a much more powerful adversary like the United States expressing solidarity. with Taiwan in defiance of Chinese wishes.
In short, India cannot let its guard down against China whenever reports of “hijacking” of Chinese attentions surface. All the talk about the Chinese wanting peace with India is nothing more than rubbish, at least for now!
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