China’s unsuccessful attempt to prevent deepening India-US ties

China taking "incremental and tactical actions" to press territorial claims with India, says Pentagon reports

China taking
China taking "incremental and tactical actions" to press territorial claims with India, says Pentagon reports

China warned US to not interfere with the PRC’s relationship with India

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) officials sought unsuccessfully to prevent India from deepening its relationship with Washington.

Chinese officials, through official statements and state media, accused India of being a mere instrument of U.S. policy in the region, the Pentagon reports said.

The Pentagon regularly reports to the Congress on the India-Chinese military standoff in eastern Ladakh. The Department of Defense has categorically said China is indulging in aggressive and coercive behaviour with its neighbours, India in particular.

The Pentagon has repeatedly referred to China as the “pacing challenge” for the US.

“The PRC (People’s Republic of China) seeks to prevent border tensions from causing India to partner more closely with the United States. PRC officials have warned US officials to not interfere with the PRC’s relationship with India,” the Department of Defense told the US Congress on Wednesday.

As the standoff continues, the PRC has expressed its aim to prevent the standoff from worsening into a wider military conflict. Additionally, Beijing has voiced its intent to return bilateral relations with New Delhi to a state of economic and diplomatic cooperation it had perceived to be improving since the 2017 Doklam standoff.

PRC state-controlled media forcefully asserted China’s intent to refuse any territorial concessions demanded by India, the report said.

As of June 2021, the PRC and India continue to maintain large-scale deployments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and make preparations to sustain these forces while disengagement negotiations have made limited progress.

Beginning in May 2020, the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) launched incursions into customarily Indian-controlled territory across the border and has concentrated troops at several standoff locations along the LAC. In addition, a substantial reserve force from the Tibet and Xinjiang Military Districts were deployed to the interior of Western China to provide a rapid response.

The June 2020 skirmish in Galwan Valley, which led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers, marked the first loss of life on the LAC since 1975.

In February 2021, the Central Military Commission (CMC) announced posthumous awards for four PLA soldiers, though the total number of PRC casualties remains unknown.

Despite the ongoing diplomatic and military dialogues to reduce border tensions, the PRC has continued taking incremental and tactical actions to press its claims at the LAC.

Sometime in 2020, the PRC built a large 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between the PRC’s Tibet Autonomous Region and India’s Arunachal Pradesh state in the eastern sector of the LAC. These and other infrastructure development efforts along India-China have been a source of consternation in the Indian government and media, the report said.

In contrast, PRC has attempted to blame India for provoking the standoff through India’s increased infrastructure development near the LAC. Asserting that its deployments to the LAC were in response to Indian provocation, Beijing has refused to withdraw any forces until India’s forces have withdrawn behind the PRC’s version of the LAC and ceased infrastructure improvements in the area, the report said.

In addition to military negotiations, on 10 September, the PRC’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, met with India’s Minister of External Affairs, S Jaishankar, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Moscow.

[With Inputs from IANS]

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