As India battles the spread of Covid-19—the virus that has wreaked havoc across the globe—it is also dealing with a neighbour which seems to have chosen this time of crisis as an opportunity to flex its muscles and engage in intimidatory tactics.
The recent border tensions between China and India are a clear signal from India’s northern neighbour that it probably sees the crisis caused by the pandemic as not just a tool to change status quo on the Line of Actual Control but also deflect attention from the global criticism it is getting for its alleged mishandling of the Covid-19 crisis.
These border incidents cannot be seen in isolation, more so because of their timing. These appear to be part of a cleverly crafted anti-India strategy that Beijing is pushing forth with.
China’s support to infrastructure projects in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir its tacit support to Pakistan’s state sponsored terrorism are open secrets.
Under such circumstances, India will need to show steely resolve in dealing appropriately with the threats that China poses.
It is also probably time for India to bite the bullet and affirm its relations with Taiwan with whom it has had a historical connect. The two nations compliment each other in many ways and India should ignore any sort of Chinese threats in this regard.
Bilaterally, there is an urgent need to rationalise the two-way trade between the two nations. India cannot afford to have a huge trade imbalance with China with many of its products and services being blocked.
And lastly, as an immediate sufferer of China’s misadventures, India needs to take the lead in creating a global coalition to keep the dragon’s evil designs under check.
While aiming to improve its ties with China should be the aim, it cannot be a one-way street. Being assertive with the bully is the need of the hour.