Nationals Senator Matt Canavan says while Australia has ‘benefited significantly from the rise of China,’ the behaviour of the Chinese government over the last couple of years…
But neither side looks overly willing to backdown and uncertainty around what happens next is causing worry globally, thanks to the increasingly bitter rhetoric from Beijing and New Delhi .
China has displayed its increasingly bolshie approach to foreign affairs in recent months in the wake of criticism over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic ramped up.
As well as smacking trade restrictions on Australia, it has thrown barbs at the United States and President Donald Trump, while also clamping down on democracy protests in Hong Kong and making sinister overtures towards Taiwan.
India is also keen to assert its dominance and defend its border, while cozying up to Washington and extending trade and defence ties with Australia.
Friction over the border isn’t new, but the current climate is, foreign policy experts say – and that makes the situation highly volatile and unpredictable.
WHAT’S GOING ON?
India and China share one of the world’s longest border stretches and an agreed Line of Actual Control (LAC) separates the two nations.
Both have accused the other of breaching the LAC in recent weeks, leading to skirmishes and an escalation in shows of force.
China’s military began its border build-up in mid-April while the world, including India, was distracted with the worsening COVID-19 crisis.
New Delhi became angry when People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces intruded into Indian territory at multiple points in late April and early May, in what local media described as “a well-planned operation”.
China had quickly amassed troops, built bunkers and installed “other fortifications”, leading to a “violent clash” in the Pangong Tso region on May 5 and 6 that left several soldiers on both sides badly injured, the Times of India newspaper reported.
Pangong Tso is one of several areas of build-up along the disputed stretch of border, which has been a source of contention for decades .But tensions have increased recently due to the construction of a 255-kilometre road on the Indian side, with three dozen bridges providing strategic links – for business and trade, New Delhi insists, but also clearly for military movements. A WAR OF WORDS This past week, various Chinese-controlled media outlets have published images of troop mobilisations, including a photograph of a plane load of heavily armed soldiers on their way to the region.At the weekend, state broadcasters aired vision of PLA military movements in the region featuring planes and trucks filled with soldiers.State media called it a demonstration of “China’s capability of quickly reinforcing border defences when necessary”.Social media was also filled with videos purporting to show scuffles between troops, although some have been debunked and labelled as propaganda or troublemaking attempts. ”Under PM Modi’s leadership, any intrusion into the the borders of India will be punished. Some used to say that US and Israel were the only countries which were willing and capable of avenging every drop of the blood of their soldiers. Modi […]