China has given a new shape to imperialism under the guise of socialism. After taking Pakistan into their fold, China is now eyeing to extend its influence to many other countries. It has shown its real intention by invading Ladakh amidst the corona pandemic. During the recent faceoff in the Galwan region with India, Chinese troops employed brutal initiation of violence using barbed-wired clubs and archaic style of combat killing twenty Indian soldiers leading India to revisit the rules of engagement with China. Chinese soldiers acted like street criminals rather than a professional army that follows ethos. Countries such as USA, France, Germany, Japan, Maldives have openly supported India on Ladakh intrusion issue.
- China is stepping its foot to a new form of imperialism like East India Company through their pet project ‘ One Belt One Road’ or OBOR. Since they are facing flak from all over the world for spreading Coronavirus through their Wuhan labs, they are trying to divert the attention of the world by creating tension in the Ladakh border at Line of Actual Control. Various world leaders including Scot Morrison, the Australian PM, has asked for international investigation into the matter. In order to avoid international criticism in its failure to contain Coronavirus and take effective steps in its aftermath China, is now trying to divert the attention of the world through these expansionist tendencies. China has outstanding border disputes with 14 countries. While it has resolved many of its land-border disputes it continues to keep the land-border dispute with India openly festering.
- Since 1954, India which believed in Non Aligned Movement, has shown respect to the sovereignty of other countries and never invaded any country. Even after they defeated Pakistan in 1971 war, the Indian Army did not stay long in the newly created Bangladesh on the instruction of the then Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. Later, both India and Bangladesh have sorted out the border dispute through distribution of enclaves along the Indo-Bangla border. However when compared to India, China is following just the opposite policy during its approach towards Tibet and Hong Kong where human rights are violated regularly.
- In 1962, Chinese PLA came deep inside India upto Tejpur in Assam but went back unilaterally, fearing a counter attack from India. In 1967, Indian Army forced the invader PLA to go back to China from Nathu La and Chola areas of Sikim. Later in 1975, Chinese PLA killed four soldiers of Assam Rifles in Tulung La area of Arunachal Pradesh. India has always advocated peace on its part in border areas with China including LAC. However, Chinese Red Army has time and again violated agreement with India. In 1993, both the countries decided not to violate the Line of Actual Control. In 1996, it was decided that Army Generals will sort out the difference through mutual meetings if the Armies come face to face. In 2005, it was agreed upon not to follow the Army team of other countries who is on patrolling duty. But the PLA did not follow any of the above agreements and unnecessarily created tensions along the border.
- The whole world knows what China did during 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh. They gifted Pakistan 255 tanks, one squadron IL-428 aircrafts and 200 army trainers. But after Bangladesh became independent with the support of India, China has been trying to come closer to Bangladesh. China now wants their currency Yuan to float in Pakistan market with a view to ultimately control the economy. As a result, the nationalist Pakistanis have started protesting in Islamabad and in other cities.
- The world is aware of how China treats Myanmar. China, in reality, wants to control sea ports of Myanmar and market of Bangladesh and is not at all interested in economic progress of the neighbouring countries. There is every likelihood that like Sri Lanka, Laos and Cambodia, China will push Bangladesh into a debt trap by giving loans at a higher rate of interest compared to World Bank or other international financial institutions. China has already committed 38 billion dollars of loan assistance in infrastructure projects to Bangladesh and recently offered duty free access to 97 percent Bangladesh imports into China. The duty free access to Bangladeshi products is an issue which is not new and has been pending since 2015. China is also supplying 80 per cent of arms and ammunition to Bangladesh military. It remains to be seen how many of such assistance offered by China will result in tangible gains for Bangladesh.
- Not only in the Indian sub continent, China has managed to antagonise a range of countries in the region. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Masud said recently that Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea affect Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone. China’s apparent disregard for what the world thinks as well as agreements it has signed with other countries was felt across the region when Beijing earlier this year announced plans for a new security law for Hong Kong. From the Himalayan Mountains to the South China Sea, Chinas recent actions are rebounding on Beijing in unforeseen ways and maybe pushing the encirclement it aims to achieve.
- Coming to South Asia, China is already controlling Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan whereas it is unable to do the same with India and Maldives. Their next stop is Bangladesh. Bangladesh government should be wise enough to understand the gravity of so called brotherhood and friendship of China which is cleverly hidden with an agenda of Neo Imperialism. The recent border clash with India in Ladakh is an example by China to test and try to exert its influence in South Asia. Analysing China’s aggressive behaviour in recent times Adam Ni, a China watcher and co-founder of China Neican commented – Today China is portrayed by some as Monolithic, its ruling party malicious and its leaders Machiavellian sages bent on world domination. The reality is that China is deeply contradictory, its leaders flawed and having a hard time just holding everything together.
Chinas approach to global governance risks a global governance divide
Finally, the world is today faced with the worst pandemic of the century and is in dire needs of reallocation of resources for public welfare. The last thing, the world needs is such mindless aggressive posturing by China. It is in the interest of the world powers, as well as countries in South Asia to resist and thwart the Chinese expansionism in order to enable regional stability and harmony.