India, China divergence deepens amid Xi Jinping power play

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, December 7: India and China relations may remain frozen for a much longer time, and the Indian presidency of G20 may also fail to bridge the gap between New Delhi and Beijing. India continues to read the Chinese military buildup across the line of actual control in several sectors across the eastern Ladakh as part of a sinister design of Xi-led China.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar reiterated in the Rajya Sabha that bilateral relations between India and China cannot be normal when there is tension on the border. He also stated that the LAC standoff has been “mischievously conflated” with resolving the border question. India and China had held several rounds of negotiations to resolve the border issue, but the exercise now remains in the cold storage after Beijing sent its military across the eastern Ladakh to open a new front of confrontations with New Delhi.

India and the US have held joint military drill in Auli in Uttarakhand in an area which was 100 kms away from the LAC with China. The US is also learnt to be keeping a close watch on the activities of China across the LAC, mapping the infrastructure build up by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). India has also expedited works on roads and bridges in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh as a counter to the Chinese attempt to bring infrastructure to transfer its military assets in quick speed to the LAC.

But China is likely to pay a heavy cost for pursuing its ‘Salami Slicing’ to grab land of the neighbouring countries as the global patience to Beijing’s unilateralism is fast sapping. With the Indian presidency of the G20, India will seek to further isolate China on the global stage, while New Delhi has strongly spread the narrative that India with its development assistance never aspires to make an economic slave of the friendly countries, as Beijing has done with Colombo and 60 other Asian, African, and Latin American countries.

With the US not keen to let off China, the Indian presidency of the G20 may see growing economic isolation of China and a de-coupling of Beijing from the global supply chains. Since May 2020 when China brought its military across the LAC in eastern Ladakh, India has no high level official contacts with Beijing, barring the visit of former Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi this year when he received a cold reception in New Delhi.

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