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Artificial Island to Artificial Village: New tactics of expansionist China

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China’s President Xi Jinping gives a speech at the opening session of the Chinese Communist Party’s five-yearly Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 18, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI

China has established a village 2km within Bhutan’s territory, close to Doklam where the Chinese and Indian militaries had a tense standoff in 2017, which went for 72 days. The news had flooded the media after the images were posted by senior journalist Shen Shiwei of the China’s state-ownedmedia house on Twitter on 19th November, but after the controversial construction picked up on the media, it was removed and brazenly denied by Chinese media.

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It is an indicator of China using“salami slicing” to gain control of this region. This newly built village, called Pangda, is just 2km away from the area where Doklam incident had occurred. Since the World War II ended, China has been systematically expanding its territory using military strength. The expansion of Tibet, Xinjiang, and Aksai Chin are a few instances of China’s expansionist policy.

Also the recent attack in the Galwan valley shows the aggressive nature of China to take its expansionist policy further into the territory of India. Even in South China Sea (SCS), it is creating artificial islands and trying to dominate the regions, leading disputes with other the littoral countries. In the East China Sea, China finally got succeed in using the tactic and makes Senkaku Island a disputed territory. It is the tactic of China, first take the territory of the other country and then bargain it in a way favourable to itself or make it a disputed territory.

It has been observed that whenever there is an internal conflict in China, it tries to do some kind of aggression with other countries to make a chaos and confuse the outside world. In the past when there was an internal dispute during the Cultural Revolution and people were in great distress, Chinese led a war with India in 1962, to distract its population from the ongoing internal chaos.

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At present, when the world started accusing China for the withholding information on the pandemic, a few rebellious Chinese citizens tried to warn the world about the disease and met with tragic deaths or mutilations. For instance, FangFang Diary incident is the most notable.

It is about a diary written by an award-winning Chinese author documenting her life in Wuhan in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak. Since, it received a lot attention from the western media putting Chinese authorities in questionable standings, China immediately started spreading lies on how it was able to control the pandemic at home and helping the other countries to overcome the pandemic.

In reality, it is far from truth. Far from helping other countries, it is taking advantage of the vulnerable state of the economies and initiating armed conflicts. On the border front, China is revealing its true hostility with India in the Aksai China, besides Doklam and Galwan Valley. It is trying to encircle India and eyeing on the Silliguri corridor, which is of immense importance to India, as it connects the mainstream territory to its North Eastern region.

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In addition, China is also bullying the small countries, such as Bhutan and Nepal, by encroaching on their territories. However, Bhutan’s officials denied the news that village was on their territory, as they have been intimidated by the Chinese funders and authorities. Bhutan’s Ambassador in India Vetsop Namgyel told The Hindu, “There is no Chinese village inside Bhutan.”

But the China’s state-owned Global Times reported that “according to open records, authorities in Yadong county of Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region confirmed that 27 households with 124 people voluntarily moved from Shangdui village of Duina prefecture of Yadong county to Pangda village in September 2020,” adding that the village was 35 km away from the county.  This is nothing new for China to establish villages near the disputed border region and later on claim its own territory and continue to oppress small countries.

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Xi Jinping in his recent speech in APEC meet talked about the multilateralism and taking the world together but, in real sense, he expressed his intentions to control the whole world under his leadership by expanding Chinese territory. China seems to emerge as a real malevolent power, which needs to be regulated and curbed by the international community and organizations.

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