Three main reasons for the dispute between India and China
The Indian military says 17 soldiers were killed and 20 others wounded in a border clash with Chinese troops in the Gulwan Valley on Monday night. According to a statement issued by the Indian Army, the clash took place on Monday night in the disputed Gulwan Valley area where the withdrawal of forces from both sides was underway. Military officials had claimed that the Chinese army had also suffered casualties in the clash, but no statement has been issued by Chinese officials so far.
Border tensions between the two countries have been simmering for the past few weeks. The famous Chinese military general Sun Xu wrote in his book The Art of War that “the best skill of war is to discourage the enemy without fighting.” Hundreds of years later, this book is still very important in China.
To understand the tension between India and China, perhaps, this ‘best skill of war’ needs to be kept in mind. The current situation is that for the first time since the Kargil war with Pakistan in 1999, India has deployed such a large number of troops on a border. Let us know what are the three main reasons for the current tension between India and China?
In 2017, a video of boxing, hand-to-hand fighting, and snatching of goods from Indian and Chinese troops in the Doklam area went viral, and the situation returned to normal several days later. The history of border disputes between India and China is decades old, but three reasons for the recent tensions are understandable. The first reason is strategic. These are two neighbors whose armies are number one and number two in the world and who have a long history of differences and conflicts. This time too, the area is at the center of the conflict, where the two fought a war in 1962, and China claims to have fought in that war. India’s rapid construction work in the border areas over the past few years has also been cited as a major source of controversy.
Defense expert Ajay Shukla says road construction is a big reason. Today, the valley in which law and order usually prevails has become the same hotspot as the LAC, near which India has built a road from the Shivak River to Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO). This is the most difficult area in the entire LAC area of Ladakh. Former Indian Army chief General VP Malik believes there is another reason for China’s unrest. There is a way for the Chinese army to crawl forward. Gradually, through their actions, they bring the disputed areas under their control. But now it has fewer alternatives as India’s borders are developing and India’s grip is getting stronger. Rahul Singh, a defense correspondent for the Hindustan Times, agrees, saying “the last five years have been focused on improving Indian borders.” “There have been small skirmishes between the two soldiers in the past,” he said. There have been similar incidents in the Chumar area of Doklam in 2013 and 2014, but this time the scope of action has widened. Former Major General Ashok Mehta says the main reason for China’s escalating operations on the LAC is “the construction of bridges and airstrip, which has led to an increase in Indian patrols”. “It’s not normal,” he said. However, the Indian Army chief had said that such operations were frequent and that the incident in the northeastern state of Sikkim was not related to the incident in the Gulwan Valley. But I think all of these events are interconnected. It should not be forgotten that when India abolished the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, China was not happy about it.
The world’s economies have been affected by the coronavirus for the past five months. India and South Asian countries, including China, the United States, Europe, the Middle East, have seen a slowdown in growth, and governments have had to spend millions of dollars to keep unemployment and closed businesses alive. Most people are also comparing it to The Great Depression of the 1930s. In the midst of all this, on April 17, the Indian government made a shocking decision. The government changed FDI rules for neighboring countries that share common borders. Under the new rules, permission from the government is now required before partnering with any Indian company. As China is the largest investor in India, China has been the hardest hit by the new law.
One of the main reasons for this decision was that the People’s Bank of China, the central bank of China, bought 75.1 million shares of HDFC, India’s largest private bank. Earlier, China was investing heavily in Indian companies. MM Khan, an expert on global economics and a former professor at Jamia Millia Islamia believes that “the military and the economy are two areas in which China has changed its foreign policy from time to time in order to maintain its supremacy.” “After Corona, the world’s stock markets are shaking and China is investing in companies from big countries,” he said. If you look at South Asia, you will find Chinese loans or investments in major infrastructure and technology companies in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Now, if India has changed its FDI policy, there is a good chance that China will be a little upset and its foreign policy will be affected.
Coronavirus and China on the back foot?
Recently, at the World Health Assembly, which is hosted by the World Health Organization, a proposal was made to investigate the origin of the coronavirus, which is harmful to the world. Among other countries, India also supported the proposal. 194 countries participated in this World Health Assembly. Defending China, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the meeting that China had acted responsibly and transparently in the whole matter. China supports any Qom investigation once the virus is brought under control. China is currently facing criticism for its alleged missteps in the beginning and end of the Coronavirus, but China has denied the allegations. China has been the most criticized by the United States, where the death toll from Corona has exceeded 100,000. The United States has said it plans to punish China for its silence on Code 19. The BBC’s Vineet Khare in Washington says news of the LAC dispute between India and China is now being looked at from a new angle in the US media.
For example, an article on China on the CNN website said, “This is not the first time that Beijing has demonstrated its power in the South China Sea or with India. There is tension on the border. But at a time when Washington and New Delhi’s political leaders are distracted by internal affairs caused by the coronavirus, there is an opportunity for China to take advantage of the areas it is trying to eradicate. It cannot be changed later. “If anyone has any doubts about China’s aggression, it should talk to India where India visits every week,” said Alice Wells, the US special envoy for South Asia. He is constantly harassed by the Chinese military every month. The ongoing tensions on the India-China border could be due to more than these three reasons and will continue to be debated. Currently, both the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the embassy have softened their stance. “India and China are an opportunity for each other, not a threat,” said Sun Wendong, China’s ambassador to India. Former Indian Army chief General VP Malik believes that “such disputes can only be resolved at the diplomatic and political level.” But he also said in no uncertain terms.
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