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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/14/20

China links Ladakh standoff with Kashmir issue

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China has linked the current standoff between Indian and Chinese border troops in Ladakh linked to rightwing government of Narendra Modi's decision to annex the disputed Jammu and Kashmir territory into India last year.

"India's actions of unilaterally changing the status quo of Kashmir and continuing to exacerbate regional tensions have posed a challenge to the sovereignty of China and Pakistan and made the India-Pakistan relations and China-India relations more complex," press officer at the Chinese embassy in Islamabad Wang Xianfeng tweeted Friday.

Wang Xianfeng in his tweet included a link to an article by Dr. Wang Shida, the Deputy Director of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) who said India has, since last August, taken constant actions to unilaterally change the status quo of Kashmir and continued to exacerbate regional tensions.

According to the Hindustan Times, this is the first time a Chinese official has sought to link the border standoff with the change in Kashmir's status, including the creation of the union territory of Ladakh, which particularly angered China.

India and China are currently engaged through diplomatic and military channels for an "early resolution" of the border standoff after what Indian officials have described as a "limited military disengagement" along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, the focus of the tensions, the Hindustan Times said.

Dr. Wang Shida's article, titled "India blinded by 'double confidence'", said India's move to change the status quo in Kashmir "constitutes a serious threat to regional peace" and "posed a challenge to the sovereignty of Pakistan and China".

"On the Chinese side, India 'opened up new territory on the map', incorporated part of the areas under the local jurisdiction of Xinjiang and Tibet into its Ladakh union territory, and placed Pakistani-administered Kashmir within its so-called union territories of Jammu and Kashmir," the article said.

"This forced China into the Kashmir dispute, stimulated China and Pakistan to take counter-actions on the Kashmir issue, and dramatically increased the difficulty in resolving the border issue between China and India," it added.

The article noted that China's foreign minister Wang Yi had conveyed his country's position on these issues to Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar when he visited Beijing last year - that "India's moves challenged China's sovereign rights and interests and violated the agreement on maintaining peace and tranquility in the border areas between the two countries".

Recalling the February 2019 Indian air attacks on targets in Pakistan when Pakistan shot down one Indian plane and captured its plot, Dr. Wang Shida warned that if India's frequent military actions against Pakistan become more likely in the future, while Pakistan, under great pressures, might be forced to use tactical nuclear weapons. The possibility of an all-out war or nuclear war between India and Pakistan has thus increased instead of decreasing.

"The arbitrary manner in which the Indian authorities have coped with a serious of major issues including territorial disputes in recent years reveals that Hindu nationalism is prevalent in India and that the Indian authorities and the strategic community have been blinded by so-called double confidence," Dr. Wang Shida pointed out.

India's colorful dream of becoming a Great Power

Dr. Wang Shida was of the view that India has joined the U.S. and some Western countries in anti-China strategic alliances that have given India a false stimulus that it is a great power and others should now recognize it. He writes:

"In order to hedge against China's remarkable socioeconomic development results, the United States and some other Western countries puffed India up from an ideological point of view, as if to say, "A man's "position determines his thinking." Those countries disregard facts and instead sing India's praises. Since 2017, the Trump administration of the United States has substantially adjusted its national security strategy, in the process issuing the "Indo-Pacific Strategy" to suppress China's development momentum. To this end, India was seen as a favorite by the US, which not only drew India over to its side and praised India but also turned a blind eye to the excessive use of force and other misdeeds of the Indian authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir. This once again stimulated India's strategic confidence and gave India a feeling that "India's status as a great power is determined by destiny, and other countries should only recognize it."

It is hoped that the Indian government and the strategic community can take the following measures to create a good surrounding environment for its "colorful dream of Becoming a Great Power" and "Indian Dream," such as drawing lessons from history, capitalizing on precious opportunities for peaceful development, working in concert with other regional countries, and settling the territorial disputes with China, Pakistan and Nepal through negotiations, Dr. Wang Shida concluded.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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