16.09.2020 Author: Phil Butler

New Attempts at Rekindling the Sino-Indian Conflict

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At a recent US-India meetup US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo led an American effort to take advantage of recent India-China friction. In a move to do exactly what the United States blames Russia, China, and other nations of doing, the Trump administration foreign policy chief put forward again a possible US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, thinly disguised as a sustainable development initiative. The nation that has claimed to be the peacekeeper of the world the last 75 years, is now doing everything to start a catastrophic conflict in the far-east.

In reality, Pompeo’s moves are only systematic where points of India-China friction are concerned. US policy is aggressive when it comes to seizing any opportunity to better the western alliance’s strategic position, so Pompeo and his team were there to drive an even bigger wedge between the neighboring nations. The Ladakh situation is extremely volatile now, so the Trump administration will take every opportunity to see the border dispute between India and China blow up. Pompeo is running around slinging a gasoline narrative claiming the US is about ready to form a NATO 2 to corral China in. Read this Economic Times report, and multiply the narrative times ten thousand news outlets. The US Secretary of State is calling for India to take China’s place in the world supply chain, at the exact moment all-out war is about to break out in Tibet.

By way of history, the ongoing Sino-Indian border dispute is over the sovereignty of territories where China and India share a border. Back in 1962 the so-called Sino-Indian War was fought in both disputed areas. During this conflict, Chinese troops attacked Indian border posts in Ladakh in the west and crossed the McMahon line in the east. Tensions settled for a bit, until a border clash took place in 1967 in the region of Sikkim. Then in 1987 and in 2013, potential conflicts over the two differing Lines of Actual Control (LAC) were de-escalated via detente. Another conflict in 2017 was also calmed. Then tensions between the two countries escalated again along the LAC in eastern Ladakh after the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15. In these clashes, 20 Indian Army troops perished, and China suffered undisclosed casualties as well. This is the point where Pompeo rode in with white hat waving to try and wedge US intentions in.

Unfortunately for the US diplomacy between India and Russia has led to a freeze on all movements and activities along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. The ministers of Foreign Ministers of India and China met in Moscow on September 10 and agreed on a five-point solution to ease the border tension. Even so, the US is acting aggressively on many fronts and in asymmetrical style against China on every front. News the US is trying to create an economic alliance called ‘The Quad’ with the US, Australia, Japan, and India to reduce reliance on trade with China, only adds to the friction level in east Asia.

The good news is that the Indian and Chinese foreign ministers met in Moscow for the annual Russia, India and China (RIC) meeting, and agreed that the military commanders in the disputed region should settle the issue. For those unfamiliar, RIC is a geopolitical group created to check the unilateral global impositions of the USA and NATO. The three countries have invested big in RIC and now is the time to make it pay. So, regardless of the Anglo-European and corporate-controlled western press take on the situation, the regional stakeholders seem to have things well in hand without the US State Department. If the truth be know, Pompeo was probably in India to try and broker some kind of lucrative bribe for Indian officials. At least this would be my guess.

Cooler heads are calling for Russian mediation in this matter. After all, Moscow is uniquely placed to take up this role, in order to help India and China agree on one set LAC. Russia has close ties with both countries for decades now, and the decision makers know one another very well. There are high hopes that Russia can help settle the potentially catastrophic tensions. And for sure, the solution won’t be all-out economic, military, and cultural warfare against the Chinese. The last thing in the world India needs, is a China threatened by some kind of extension of NATO.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”


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