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Ameet Kumar Bali
Microscopic Analysis of China’s Aggression
The current situation on the India-China border can be analyzed through the prism of internal as well as external dimensions. Internally, it seems that the Chinese Communist Party is facing heavy resentment at home because the spread of Covid-19 has created a negative image of the Chinese people all over the world. The way the Chinese President Xi jinping handled the spread of virus, crushing the voices of those who ask questions against him, censoring the facts related to Covid 19 created strong resentment among their people. Besides these, the manner in which xi jinping became president for life time by making changes in the Chinese constitution with the positivity of serving betterment for their people as two years back. The spread of Covid 19 isolated the China from the world and uncovered the governance and failure of xi jinping diplomacy to impress or reassure the world. Xi jinping had a chance to fulfill the leadership vacuum left by the US in midst of Covid 19 crisis through his good diplomacy rather the wolf warrior diplomacy. The internal dissent within the communist party of China against absolute authority of xi jinping cannot be negated.
China is also confronting internal crisis in Hong Kong i.e. demand for democracy and the vision of ‘One China principle’ of xi jinping is being challenging. However, in 2019 we had witnessed heavy deployment of People Liberation Army in Hong-Kong to suppress the large scale protests began in Hong Kong. Now in response to the seven months of protests a new law constituted to restrain the protesters and people of Hong Kong. The expert says Hong Kong is becoming another Tiananmen. However, the unopposed victory of Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan election by campaigning and rejecting against the xi jinping’s vision ‘one country two systems’. Her victory is also bothering him. The global anti China sentiment is currently at its highest ever since the 1989 Tiananmen square crackdown. The effect of anti China sentiment on its economy cannot be ignored. As the Chinese economy is an export oriented which means that its growth largely depends on exports. The efforts of xijinping should had been to protect its exports and employments. But his egoistic and aggressive policies have been declining its exports and shaken its fundamental model of Chinese economy. With the help of exports it has became the second largest economy of the world and gave employment to the millions of its citizens. Xi jinping’s future depends on China’s economy stability. The China status of the factory of the world is under strains. The out breaks of corona virus which originate in China made realized the world that doing business with country like China with clearly opaque system is dangerous to the world.
The ambition of Xi jinping is to grab power at home and outside. Although he has succeeded in grabbing power at home through becoming life time president of China and also head of the PLA but to sustain the grabbed power at home is being challenging. The set goals of xi jinping was to reunify the China in 2021 and to become superpower are being slipping from his hand. The people and C.C.P are losing their faith on his leadership. Xi jinping has a lust for power and he knows if he step down he might be investigated and thrown into jail and forgotten from history just like his father. So, it is a matter of prestige for him. The second reason of opening many fronts may be his thinking that Covid -19 periods is the exact time when China’s economy is on the peak to replace the US super power status. Otherwise, in future global order is going to be changed in which China economic power is likely to shrink because of anti global sentiment, boycott of Chinese products and trade war of all countries would isolate the Chinese economy after post Covid 19.
The authoritarian regime of China has not only threatened their own people but they also threaten global world. The spread of this virus eroded the image of Chinese communist party especially Xi- jinping at home and in world. Hence xi jinping is trying to divert the attention away from virus disaster and achieve something regionally to repair his eroded image through media propaganda, psychological warfare and wolf warrior diplomacy. The more the Chinese nation is exposed to external pressures, the more it will be tightly united. It is well known that sometimes countries start escalating things at the border to divert the attention of their citizens from the domestic problems.
Before the pandemic, the world was not supporting and recognizing the Taiwan and Tibet as an independent country. Now the mindset of the world has been shifting from one China principle policy to support Taiwan, Tibet and Hongkong as independent entities. Recent bills and supports for them can be noted. Previously, the world had witnessed the Hong Kong protest and looked it as their internal affairs. But with this pandemic, the voices of revolt became more strong as world is also in mood of their support. In order to save the internal rebellion against the xi jinping leadership for his failures, they are trying to divert the attention of their people to a situation like an external invasion or a war with India in Ladakh.
The incursions at different areas in Ladakh, Pangong Lake, Galwan valley reveals that this is coordinated at a high level not at the local level planning. China is also looking the changing narrative and strategy of India in Jammu and Kashmir from defensive to hardness. As India recently abrogated article 370 and created Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as two separate union territories and reiterated its desire to recover all areas of Jammu and Kashmir includes Aksai Chin, Gilgit and Baltistan as per the 1994 joint resolution of Parliament.
The paradigm shift of India on PoK has also been bothering China because of having their strategic and financial investment likes CPEC and highways road connectivity. The tension between India and Pakistan could damage their investment and dreaming of POK. The changed strategy and world anger towards China after Covid -19 can be ruled out as the reason of China's aggressive behavior and incursions in Ladakh. India is building border roads at Indo- China border faster than before in order to help army, giving strategic advantage to India. This could be a reason behind China’s aggressive posture along the LAC. What perhaps may cause the greatest concern is not only the shift in emphasis but the fundamental change in approach and outlook of India and world support.
The recent incidents in the South China Sea and the flare up along Ladakh borders could be linked to an apprehension in Beijing that business would move out of China to its neighboring nations in the post Covid-19. It can even be said that China is not happy with how India is trying to attract the multinational companies which want to exit China. Most of the countries are looking to diversify their manufacturing and supply chains to newer destinations. India is suiting as an alternative to China for manufacturing for local and global market. China is unhappy with recently India actions of tighter investment rules for countries that share a land border with India. This rule is not favorable for China. The other point which irking Chinese is that of India’s deepening ties with QUAD countries. India- Australia relation to sign defense logistics pact during first virtual bilateral summit is also problem for China because Australia is demanding world enquiry into the origin of corona virus. The increasing importance of India can be seen as powerful countries offering membership in G7 and newly proposed alliances of D10 to break china’s monopoly in trade and 5G technologies.
By increasing military might near the border in midst of Covid -19, difficult to speculate what the Chinese planning is but multiple incursions give signal to India that not to stand in global inquiry on Covid-19. China does not want India to raise this issue globally and demand enquiry with other countries. China has adamantly refusal any enquiry into its handling of corona virus. This clearly indicates that China is not happy about India are supporting and aligned with the western narrative when it comes to the pandemic. This may be the tactic of Chinese President to pressurized India to reject the western views of China for border peace. It can be observed through an article published in Global times in which China advice India not to engage in US -China confrontation and warned to lose more than gain. The second message of targeting India would be to send a clear message to smaller neighbors to shut their mouth against their loan debt trap and their expansion policy. The CCP is also disturbing the small countries surrounding in South China Sea and India. Chinese grand strategy of Salami slicing continues in its periphery. This is evident and in history, in 1960’s China illegally occupied Tibet, Akasai Chin, and some part of POK from Pakistan. India should understand the long term expansionist strategy of china. It is said in 1960’s by Chinese leaders that Tibet is the palm they occupied now; next they would have to work for getting five fingers –Ladakh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Recently incidents in Ladakh, Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal may be linking with their finger expansionist strategy.
If someone actions don’t prove the truth of his words, then his words are nothing more than lies. In amidst attempts being made for de-escalation, suddenly Chinese aggression turned the border standoff violent in which twenty Indian army men including colonel were martyred and around 43 Chinese soldiers are either dead or gravely dead at Galwan valley on 15th June 2020. China’s military action is reflected unethical, unprofessional and based on Sun Tzu philosophy. With this incident sun Tzu quotes proved their action as ‘All warfare is based on deception and he will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared”. This PLA skirmishes was strategically in order to gain sympathy from their own public to fight Indian aggression. The martyrdom of one Indian commander and soldiers is intolerable. To keep this in mind India should strongly resolve this issue at a political and military level.
India should be cautious about China’s saying and actions. The reliability of China we have lost and are being seeing in Ladakh. China’s strategy of string of pearls, using friendly neighbors like Nepal, Bangladesh, and Srilanka against India, is a part of its long term strategy. As China wants that India does not live up to its full potential. She would benefits if India gets engaged in internal conflicts and conflicts with its neighbors. The things are gradually unfolding, China’s intentions and plans are becoming more and more clear. China should not forget that she itself has much vulnerability. It is also surrounded by many countries. India has not used China’s neighbors against China, the way China uses India’s neighbors against India. Now India should have to think the way the China do.
India is a sovereign country no one can dictate what to do and not to do. Now it is imperative for the India to strongly raise issue of illegal occupation of Tibet and Aksai Chin by China. India should internationalize that India is legally sharing her border with Tibet only rather than China. It should openly support to Hong Kong and Taiwan as China is supporting openly to Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh by providing financial loans and military supports against India. India should also raise the issue of violation of human rights of Uyghur Muslims on humanitarian grounds.
The world is looking Covid 19 as a part of biological warfare. Because the way in which China Communist Party is dealing and behaving, definitely a threat to world freedom, democracy and human existence. The question is if not teach a lesson to the spreader they may be spread of such virus by other countries in future. It is posing a fatal threat to future generation freedom and way of life. Almost all are living in a time of social distancing. Perhaps it is also a time to practice economic distancing from China.
Ameet Kumar Bali
Working as a teacher in School Education Department