China’s positivism on LAC apparent, not real
China's Ambassador to India said the situation on the India-China border was 'overall stable' but it would be naïve to treat his words of positivism as reflecting the reality of India-China ties.
In his remarks during an event to mark the 73rd anniversary of the People's Republic of China at the Chinese embassy in New Delhi a couple of days back, China's Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said the situation on the India-China border was 'overall stable' and the two sides had moved from the 'emergency response" that followed the Galwan Valley clash in June 2020 to 'normalised management and control'.
Observers say the diplomatists are trained to utter positive words on relations between their own and host countries. Chinese envoy Sun is no exception. His remarks are apparently positive as well as substantial.
India and China have held 16 rounds of commander-level talks to resolve the fresh dispute that erupted between the two nations with the Chinese penetration into the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control in 2020. In the last meeting in July this year, the two countries agreed to maintain stability on the ground and resolve the problems along the LAC in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas.
It would, however, be naïve to treat Sun's words of positivism on the LAC situation as reflecting the reality of India-China ties. China is yet to disengage its troops from two points of friction along the LAC in eastern Ladakh. India has always striven to develop a relationship, built on mutual sensitivity, respect and interest, with China. Beijing has seldom cared for this. It has continued its policy of aggression against India from time to time.
Beijing is currently expanding its military presence in the Indo-Pacific region. It has a naval base in Djibouti. It is developing various ports in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Pakistan. There are about eight Chinese Navy units -- warships, research vessels and fishing vessels operating in the Indian Ocean Region.
China's linkages with Pakistan have been intact to the detriment of India. Around 47 per cent of China's military exports go to Pakistan today. These exports include small arms, fighter jets, ships and submarines, advanced equipment such as the JF-17 fighter jets, the K-8 training aircraft, Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS), the Al-Khalid tanks and the Babur cruise missile.
After India abrogated Article 370 of its Constitution and effected some necessary changes in the governance of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019, China, at the behest of Pakistan, opposed it and tried to trigger discussions on the issue in the UN Security Council.
(Jagdish N. Singh is a senior journalist based in New Delhi. He is also Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, New York)
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