The COVID-19 pandemic forced the entire world to adjust to a “new” China. Not only did Beijing rely on more aggressive tools to conduct diplomacy, but the post-electoral U.S. strategy towards the Dragon has also promised to match this level of assertiveness in the years to come, thus sanctioning the continuation of the bilateral competition.
Recently, China launched a series of ballistic (“aircraft-carrier killer”) missiles in the disputed South China Sea (SCS) region. The missile launching took place at a time when US-China tensions and confrontation in the strategic waterway reached a new height and a few months after the US’ latest rejection of China’s claims over maritime jurisdictions. Beijing’s claims in the SCS have been sweeping, encompassing nearly the entire region.
The confrontation between China and India might seem to be a thing of the past. After violent border skirmishes last June resonated high and wide around the world, SARS-COV-2 and the US presidential campaign diluted most non-China-related news spreading from Asia.
Since early May, amidst the pandemic, thousands of Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a bitter confrontation, lined up on positions opposite each other’s, in the rugged Himalayan heights of the Ladakh region.
Relations among South Asian countries after 1947 can be characterized as oscillating between Indian attempts to gain greater influence and counter-efforts by its neighbours to resist them. One of their successful counter-strategies has been to play the “China card” vis-à-vis India long before the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) was established.
Despite the unresolved territorial dispute and emerging challenges between the two Asian powers, Sino-Indian economic ties have witnessed significant expansion over the three decades since Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s historic visit to China in 1988.
Although the foreign policies of major powers do not change dramatically with changes in government, India’s foreign policy vision has been evolving rapidly since the Modi government came to power in May 2014. This evolution is only natural for a nation that is rising in the global power hierarchy. External Affairs Minister S.
The clash between China and India along the disputed border in the harsh Himalayan terrain of Galwan Valley on 15 June was the most violent encounter in decades. The high-altitude melee is part of an old dispute between the two nuclear powers over their Himalayan borders, of which there is no mutual recognition. The two governments have different and conflicting ideas about the location of their ‘historic’ borders as well as of the Line of Actual Control, namely a demarcation line created after the 1962 war to supposedly ease tensions.
After violent border clashes between Chinese and Indian troops resonated high and wide around the world last June, the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and the US presidential campaign diluted most non-China-related news spreading from Asia. Nonetheless, the situation on the Himalayan border and tensions between the two Asian powers are still far from resolved.
“The need for international solidarity and multilateral cooperation is more conspicuous than ever”. With these words Berit Reiss-Andersen (Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee) opened the announcement ceremony of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize – this year presented to the World Food Programme. Expectations were in fact for the COVID-19 pandemic only to have one merit: unite the international community against a common, invisible threat. Yet, the international community is today more disrupted than ever.