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Why in news?

  • In a sharp criticism of China over border tensions with India, the US on 20th May described Beijing’s actions as “disturbing behaviour”.
  • The U.S.’s top diplomat for South and Central Asia, called the recent tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) a reminder of the “threat” posed by China.
  • The U.S. also said the skirmishes were a reminder of the threat China posed as it sought to use its power, whether in the South China Sea or on the borders with India.

Strained U.S.-China relationship

  • The disapproval of the US is more direct than usual and is significant even as it comes in the backdrop of US-China bickering over the spread of the coronavirus with US President blaming China for the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
  • U.S. is also accusing the WHO of behaving as a satellite of China.

China’s Neighbour tensions

  • U.S. Diplomat also said China’s behaviour was causing other nations to group together to reinforce the post Second World War economic order.
  • ASEAN, the trilateral partnership between India, the U.S. and Japan as well as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue with these countries and Australia were cited.
  • U.S. is offering grant assistance of $500 million to Nepal, which has led to controversy between the ruling and opposition parties in Nepal. The assistance has been seen as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which Nepal has signed on to.

U.S. Trade deal with India

On the prospects of India and the U.S. reaching a limited trade deal – U.S. said: Adopting more open and welcoming policies and reducing tariffs would help India make use of the opportunity.

Preparedness to call out China’s aggression in US stance

  • The US stance goes beyond diplomatic phraseology that is more common and seems to reflect a preparedness to call out Chinese aggression.
  • While aggressive stand-offs along the unsettled border during summer are not new, China this year opened up a new front in Ladakh, upping concerns in India’s security establishment.
  • This is the area in Galwan and near the hot springs, in addition to deep incursions on the north bank of Pangong Tso, near what the Indian Army calls the Finger 4 areas.
  • This came along with skirmishes in Sikkim near Naku La.

-Source: Times of India, The Hindu

February 2024