'Playing snake' with India, China may taste bitter fruit 3

'Playing snake' with India, China may taste bitter fruit 3

Despite a series of challenges surrounding it, China is still taking a strong hand against India on the border, but it seems to be underestimating the consequences.

In the disputed border area in the high Himalayan mountains, China and India once agreed not to clash with guns, according to agreements signed in 1996 and 2005, to curb the possibility of prolonged territorial conflicts.

However, the fragile consensus between them was seriously shaken after the fight on June 15.

The clash took place in the context that China is said to be gradually building up its forces, infrastructure and increasing patrols around the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which is considered the upper border.

Location of Indian and Chinese soldiers’ deadly brawl on the evening of June 15.

On June 20, Beijing accused New Delhi of `deliberately provoking` and criticized the process of building infrastructure in the country’s border areas.

`China’s move appears to be part of a deliberate push to change the territorial status quo,` said Andrew Small, senior expert at the German Marshall Fund.

`The Chinese military is consolidating its foothold in multiple locations, not simply conducting patrols across the LAC, but also building infrastructure and maintaining a continuous presence,`

According to Guardian commentator Emma Graham-Harrison, commanders in a disputed border region also seem incapable of planning such a deadly brawl, without receiving `the nod`.

However, Graham-Harrison believes that the current time is not appropriate for Beijing to provoke trouble with its neighbor, because they are facing many crises.

In addition, China is also tense with Australia after Canberra called for an independent international investigation into Covid-19, and is in a confrontation with Canada over the consideration of extraditing Meng Wanzhou, her daughter.

Many analysts assess China’s aggression on the border with India as a response to surrounding pressures, to show resoluteness on the issue of national sovereignty.

`Covid-19, international public opinion’s criticism of China, the domestic economic crisis, and the decline in US-China relations have prompted Beijing to show a tough stance towards some

Others see China, after years of prioritizing economic development and focusing on global stability in its foreign policy, as taking the opportunity to express its nationalism more aggressively.

'Playing snake' with India, China may taste bitter fruit

The Indian army convoy headed towards the border with China at Gagangir on June 17.

Commentator Graham-Harrison said that perhaps no country wants to confront China.

`From China’s perspective, they will wonder why they don’t continue to encroach?`, said June Dreyer, a political science professor at the University of Miami, USA.

However, Beijing may have underestimated the damage from the conflict with New Delhi.

The deaths of Indian soldiers, along with the end of the tacit agreement to avoid deaths between the two countries, are likely to make both the Indian people and officials tougher against China.

`I suspect that China has offended another generation in India. Many of them used to see China as an opportunity, but now those people basically cannot trust China.`

`The conflict also dispels the notion that economic interdependence will ease political tensions,` Madan added.

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