It is becoming increasingly clear that China is in no mood to disengage its troops from the Ladakh region even as New Delhi and Beijing formally prepare for the next round of talks to defuse military tensions along the line of effective control, the de facto border between the two Asian giants.
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The question is, why the Dragon refuses to fly off the western border of the Himalayas and wants to keep it ablaze for an indefinite period. Perhaps no one could answer this better than Swedish journalist, author and strategic analyst Bertil Lintner, who believes the conflict is about something much bigger.
A desire on the part of China to punish India for rejecting President Xi Jinpings’ pet project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) may have resulted in tensions along the disputed border, argues Lintner, who wrote several books, including the classic,Chinas India War: Top of the World Collision Course(Oxford University Press / 2018).
It’s not just India, but there are nearly 20 other neighbors who seem upset with China’s strong tactics when it comes to their borders.
China is not looking for solutions to its border problems or other bilateral problems with its neighbors. China wants to use these conflicts to its strategic advantage, Lintner told the EurasianTimes.
In his last article forAsia TimesLintner analyzed China’s border disputes with as many as 20 neighbors, saying the conflicts were more about leverage than territory.
From the disputed Himalayan peaks to the disputed waters of the South China Sea, China’s borders appear to be growing more tumultuous, coinciding with its recent rapid rise from a developing nation to a superpower competing for global influence with the United States. .
But while many of China’s disputed border areas may appear to have become more inflamed along with its growing global ambitions, the reality is that Beijing has long stoked and nurtured border disputes as a tactic to win concessions on broader issues with its neighbors, Lintner wrote in his article. article.
Past, imperfect future
The India-China border conflicthas a bloody history. In the summer of 1960, then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai met his Indian counterpart Jawaharlal Nehru in New Delhi to find a solution to the border dispute.
He made an offer that China would recognize the Indian claim on Arunachal up to the McMohan Line on condition that New Delhi consider China’s claim to the Aksai Chin peninsula. Proposed by British administrator Sir Henry McMahon in 1914, the eponymous line is the eastern part of the LAC between Tibet and the North East Indies.
Nehru declined the offer, following which China took a series of aggressive military actions over the next two years, including resuming advanced patrols in Ladakh that it had ceased two years earlier.October 20, 1962, the Chinese military captured areas along the disputed border, resulting in war.
He took over Arunachals Tawang in the east and Rezang La in Chusul in the west. Troops advanced towards the town of Tezpur, Assam, before Beijing unilaterally declared a ceasefire on November 20.
While China had withdrawn from the Northeast Indies, it retained Aksai Chin in the west, a sore point in its relations with nuclear India. It occupied 38,000 km2 of Aksai Chin from India, says the latter.
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