China has a way of presenting herself in ways that make her intentions, which are already sinister, even more concerning for those who pay attention to her words and actions. According to an article from NDTV, Chinese President Xi declared that China needs to “prepare for worst-case scenarios” following her flooding of troops onto the Indian border with claims that Chinese soldiers may have crossed into India at certain parts.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday ordered the military to scale up the battle preparedness, visualising the worst-case scenarios and asked them to resolutely defend the country’s sovereignty. Though he did no mention any specific threat, his comments came amid a face-off between soldiers of India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Xi, 66 who is also the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and head of the two-million-strong military with prospects of lifelong tenure in power, made the remarks while attending a plenary meeting of the delegation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and People’s Armed Police Force during the current parliament session being held in Beijing.
Xi ordered the military to think about worst-case scenarios, scale up training and battle preparedness, promptly and effectively deal with all sorts of complex situations and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, state-run Xinhua news agency reported, without mentioning any specific issues that posed a threat to the country.
Several areas along the LAC in Ladakh and North Sikkim have witnessed major military build-up by both the Indian and Chinese armies recently, in a clear signal of escalating tension and hardening of respective positions by the two sides even two weeks after they were engaged in two separate face-offs. The nearly 3,500-km-long LAC is the de-facto border between the two countries.
China’s military friction with the US has also been on the rise with the American navy stepping its patrols in the disputed South China Sea as well as the Taiwan Straits. Washington and Beijing are also engaged in a war of words over the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 22, China, the second-largest military spender after the US, hiked its defence budget by 6.6 per cent to $179 billion, nearly three times that of India, the lowest increment in recent years amidst the massive disruption caused to the communist giant’s economy by the COVID-19 pandemic.
India has said the Chinese military was hindering normal patrolling by its troops along the LAC in Ladakh and Sikkim and strongly refuted Beijing’s contention that the escalating tension between the two armies was triggered by trespassing of Indian forces across the Chinese side. (source)
These are not the words of somebody who wants to give the appearance of de-escalating a conflict. If anything, they will worry the native Chinese and scare the Indians into a more militaristic approach because they will not trust China even more and fear that she may attempt to invade her.
China is not helping herself. She wants to assert herself as a world power, but her actions incite fear and mistrust in her neighbors. Her trend will be towards “asserting” herself more, but just as the saying “two step forward, one step backwards” applies in the US, for every attempt to impress power in her region she will create more enemies and problems so that when conflict does happen, instead of being ready to defend herself, she may find herself falling to her own self-inflicted wounds.