Modi’s China challenge deepens while US seeks out India

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US Congressional Delegation meets Dalai Lama

Image credit X @SpeakerPelosi

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Galwan 2.0 in South China Sea & Dalai Lama question may test India

By Manish Anand

New Delhi, June 21: Two events of this week may outline Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s deepening challenges on the eastern front, with China. While Modi showcased his physical flexibility on Friday in Srinagar for the International Yoga Day, the scope for diplomatic is fast squeezing.

Former US Congress House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is foremost anti-China voice in the western world. Her association with western angst against the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown by China is widely known.

Pelosi sent the US-China relations on a downward spiral after her visit to Taiwan last year. She was part of the bipartisan Congressional delegation to Tibet’s spiritual Guru Dalali Lama.

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China this week revived memories of violent Galwan skirmishes with India in the western world. The Chinese coast guard exhibited a wide array of weapons consisting of spears, swords, axes, and others while its personnel boarded a Pilipino rubber boat.

The boat was on way for a supply mission to Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. One Pilipino naval person is said to have sustained grievous injuries.

The event in the South China Sea has already been termed Galwan 2.0. “…these are troubling reports, because it appears as if — and just from initial operational reports that we’ve gotten — that at least one Philippine sailor was wounded,” said the US State Department in a Monday briefing.

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“This kind of behaviour is provocative, it’s reckless, it’s unnecessary, and it could lead to misunderstandings and miscalculations that could lead to something much bigger and much more violent,” John Kirby, the communication advisor of the US State Department said.

Within the diplomatic community, Chinese President Xi Jinping not congratulating Modi on winning the Lok Sabha elections, as well as becoming the prime minister for a third term in a row has not gone unnoticed. While Xi sent personal congratulatory messages to other heads of states who won recent elections, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs congratulated Modi during a regular media briefing.

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Modi has repeated the team of Ajit Doval (National Security Advisor) and Subhramanyam Jaishankar (External Affairs Minister) as his key aides. Both are seen to have questionable track records while dealing with the Chinese aggressions in the eastern Ladakh sector.

The last India and China military commanders talk was held on February 19 this year. The border standoff persists.

Against China’s demands for normalcy in ties and resumption of direct flights, India maintains that the peace on border is a starting point. But China is thriving by exporting the overcapacity to India.

Also Read: China bullies Philippines with Galwan 2.0 in South China Sea 

The bilateral trade surplus in favour of China is now over $100 billion. The idea of “crippling China with economic punishment” has vanished in thin hot airs of Delhi.

Pelosi and her Congressional delegation may not have flown to Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh without careful cost benefit analysis in New Delhi. The world is keeping a close eye on the successor of Dalai Lama, and India will have a stake in the unfolding event.

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