We are on the cusp of a New Cold War, and this time a choice has been forced on India. Despite sincere attempts to build a multi-polar world and not take sides, China has compelled India to get drawn into an alliance of nations which believes in democracy and a rules-based world order. As long as a dictatorial Chinese regime is in power, India cannot return to status quo ante. This is an entirely new situation for the foreign policy establishment, but India has the confidence, flexibility and creativity that are needed to influence world affairs for the good of all.
Just like India is taking a stand against the Chinese dictatorial regime by decoupling economically, the West and Japan also have choices to make. For major American companies China is a lucrative market, but they must stand up and be counted when it comes to humanity’ core values. Top United States officials have been making a series of statements, all aimed against China. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that it is rebalancing its forces away from Europe and towards the Indo-Pacific. Christopher Wray, the head of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, recently described China as the biggest threat to the US economy, and disclosed that his agency is investigating more than 2,000 cases connected to the Chinese Communist Party.
While America repositions itself, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) bloc is coming to the realisation that each of its 10 members may not be individually able to confront China’s aggrandising ambitions in the South China Sea. However, together they have a better chance. Which is why on June 27 Asean leaders issued a declaration saying that a 1982 UN treaty on the oceans should be the basis for settling maritime claims. China lays claim to almost all of the South China Sea on whimsical historical grounds.
Further to the southeast, Australia, under Prime Minister Scott Morrison, has moved out of the Chinese orbit. Australia clearly recognises the potential for China to become a neo-colonial power and a demographic aggressor. Japan, a historical rival, has major economic interests in China. However, it is also bound to the US by a security treaty.
The two major unknowns in the coming geopolitical match are the European Union and Russia, the key players in the Cold War. For Europe, taking a stand on China will involve making a firm commitment to the ideals which have shaped the world after World War II. China presents no threat to Europe’s territorial boundaries, unlike the former Soviet Union. However, China’s values certainly do not accord those of the EU. The unity of the EU, as well as its commitment to liberal democratic values, will be tested like never before.
Russia and China may seemingly enjoy a close relationship, but Russian President Vladimir Putin will definitely be under no illusions about the potential danger from China. Russia has been displaced as US’ main strategic rival by China, with which Russia shares a border that stretches nearly 4,300 kilometres. China’s penchant for territorial gains by demographic conquest is well-known, and Russia will not forget that fact. China is a long-term threat to Russia, and Putin knows it.
So what we see are a number of forces ranged against communist China.
India, China to hold ninth round of military talks today to resolve Ladakh border standoff
In a bid to end the standoff at Ladakh border, India and China will be engaging in ninth round of military level talks.
India, China will be holding ninth round of Corps Commander-level talks on Sunday to discuss the situation at Line of Actual control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. XIV Corps commander Lt General PGK Menon and South Xinjiang Military Region commander Major General Liu Lin will be holding the discussion at Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) point in Moldo. During the talks, a representative of Ministry of External Affairs will also be present. according to reports.
India had earlier sent a memo to China following which the date of the talks was fixed. Around 50,000 troops from each side have been deployed in the region for an indefinite period while no dialogue has taken place at the senior level for a long time. The last round of military talks between the two countries was held on November 6 during which both the sides discussed disengagement of troops from specific friction points.
The standoff between India and china has entered ninth month with heavy deployment of troops from both sides. Earlier in an interview with a television channel, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said India will not reduce its troop strength till China takes the initiative.
The tensions between the countries started flaring up when 250 soldiers from India and China had a face-off along the northern bank of the Pangong Lake. The face-off even resulted in stone-pelting around the area. The violent clashes resulted in injuries to the soldiers.
According to officers, no major breakthrough has been achieved so far despite several round of talks as both the sides are adamant on their demands. While, China wants India to vacate the heights in the Chushul sub-sector, India has insisted that a resolution would be possible only after taking into account all the friction points.
INDIA, CHINA DISCUSS WAYS TO DE-ESCALATE
Reacting to the another round of diplomatic dialogue held between India and China on Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the two countries agreed to resolve the outstanding issues in an expeditious manner and in accordance with the existing protocols.
Reacting to the another round of diplomatic dialogue held between India and China on Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the two countries agreed to resolve the outstanding issues in an expeditious manner and in accordance with the existing protocols. India had in the last meeting too emphasised on the need for expeditious and complete disengagement along the LAC. The special representatives, NSA Ajit Doval and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, had last spoken on July 5, after which there was disengagement in the Galwan and Gogra Hot Springs area but then it came to a halt.
The Chinese foreign ministry in its statement said India and China “positively evaluated the progress” made in the disengagement of troops, had a “frank and in-depth” exchange of views on remaining issues on the ground and enhanced “mutual understanding”.
“The two sides agreed to conscientiously implement the consensus reached between the two foreign ministers and the special representatives on China-India boundary question, continue to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, further cool down the border situation, properly handle the remaining issues on the ground, and jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” the Chinese readout said.
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This was the 18th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs.
INDIA MAY TAKE FRESH ACTION ON ECONOMIC FRONT AGAINST CHINA
With the People’s Liberation Army is still holding forward positions on Pangong Tso and Gogra-Hot Springs area of Ladakh
With the People’s Liberation Army is still holding forward positions on Pangong Tso and Gogra-Hot Springs area of Ladakh and showing no signs of a promised de-escalation, the Narendra Modi government is contemplating further action against China on economic front to drive home the message that India means business.
According to senior government officials familiar with the matter, the apex China Study Group (CSG) met on Monday to discuss the PLA action on the ground in Ladakh and its military posture in occupied Aksai Chin region of Tibet. The CSG, which has India’s senior most ministers, military leaders and bureaucrat as members, is the body that recommends the country’s course on action with China.
While China wants India to normalize diplomatic relations on an as-is-where-is basis, the Modi government firmly believes that anything short of status quo ante in Ladakh sector is unacceptable with a cost attached to it. Despite being the aggressor, the PLA believes that its troops are well within it own perception of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. Thus, it is holding on to the positions at both Gogra-Hot Springs as well as the green top of finger four feature of Pangong Tso lake while making unacceptable demands on Indian Army posts.
According to officials, the Indian Army has been asked to remain in forward positions along the 1597 km LAC in Ladakh. On July 5, the Indian Special Representative on boundary dialogue spoke to his Chinese counterpart for more than two hours .
The two decided that both sides fully disengage and then de-escalate but a month later, the situation has reached a stalemate with the Chinese offering a diplomatic face-saver to India without any corresponding withdrawal on the ground.
Now that the US has taken action against Huawei and its supporting entities for spying, it is quite evident that India will also keep the Chinese communication and power companies out of any future projects. The Modi government is clear that the bilateral ties are directly linked with the border peace and will not allow them on a parallel track as in the past.