China’s muscle flexing in the Himalayas is aimed at strengthening its position in the region at the expense of adversaries and Beijing’s increasingly aggressive policies in recent months would appear to be making more foes than friends.
Beijing is building alliances with its neighbours to counter what it perceives as a new India-US alliance that is part and parcel of a wider US strategy to encircle and contain an increasingly assertive and powerful China, Asia Times reported.
Recently, Chinese and Indian troops got engaged in the violent face-off in the Galwan Valley region. Soldiers of both sides suffered casualties.
Tensions are high between the two nations since India inaugurated a key highway near the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Asia Times said it would seem to be overkill if the border tensions were truly over India’s building of a new road on its side of the LAC.
China has also managed to antagonise a range of other countries in the region. On June 4, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Masud said at a virtual news conference that Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea “affect Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone”.
On May 26, Jakarta had declared that China’s so-called “nine-dash line” outlining its wide-reaching claims in the South China Sea lacks a basis in international law. Jakarta cited a 2016 ruling by Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague which had ruled in favour of the Philippines in a complaint against Beijing’s encroachments into the South China Sea, which China rejected as baseless.
Chinese doctors who had reported on Chinese social media platforms were even reprimanded for “spreading rumours”.
China’s apparent rising 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, China’s recent actions are redounding on Beijing in unforeseen ways and maybe pushing the encirclement it aims to avert, according to Asia Times.
How that new dynamic will play out will be clearer once the COVID-19 crisis ends and countries take a clearer measure of China’s recent moves, including the killing of 20 Indian soldiers on the LAC. (ANI)