Indian Army Emboldened By US-China Conflict; Beijing Warns Of Repercussions

China has dragged India in its rising conflict with the US saying that “certain groups of people in India, including the Indian Army, have seen a rising speculative attitude regarding the conflict, with a view to possible benefits from the situation.

According to Qian Feng, who is a director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, if this attitude extends to the foreign policy of India it will not only damage the diplomatic relations with China but can also hinder the focus of pandemic prevention and long term economic recovery.

Amid the ongoing pandemic, China and the US are usually seen targetting each other on various fronts. Earlier, US President has raised alarm bells when he threatened to “cut off the whole relationship” with China.

“This has pushed a growing speculative attitude among Indian politicians, the country’s media and even the military, seeing it is an opportunity for India to seize benefits, such as luring foreign investment to relocate from China, seeking strong bonds with the US and gathering more bargaining chips in foreign relations with China,” wrote Feng.

Tensions have been flaring up on the Indo-China border. As earlier reported by EurAsian Times, the troops of both the nations clashed at the border areas of Naku La pass in North Sikkim. The scuffle started during regular patrolling and resulted in a fierce “armless” clash between the soldiers of the two sides leaving some of them injured.

Feng wrote that the Indian army has been ramping up its military strength along the Indo-Chinese border and it “tends to take a tougher and even irrational attitude toward border relations.” China is dedicated to resolving border issues through talks and hopes for implementation of a management and control mechanism agreed by both sides and uphold a benign direction of bilateral relations. But in an unfriendly scenario, India might see some “bad results” in terms of its economic recovery, warns Feng.

The analyst targeted the “Made in India” campaign saying that even after efforts to draw foreign investment, India still cannot take over China’s position in global industrial chains. “India itself still needs massive reform and upgrading, which will be tough for it to fulfil in the short term. It is also a complicated issue to split up production and supply chains.”

In 2019, India dropped out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) due to concerns regarding huge imports under the agreement which might put domestic industry and agriculture at risk.

Feng says that the decision to opt-out after seven years of negotiation will put pressure on its exporters who won’t be able to sell overseas with zero tariffs and thus lose the chance to enjoy a reciprocal treatment with its trading partners.

He concludes by saying that India should seek a cooperative relationship with China rather than stirring up tensions. “China and India should join hands in various areas including vaccine development, medical material supply and economic resumption, in order to benefit residents in the two countries and also the whole world,” he wrote.