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DC Edit | China playing mischief again


Published on: April 9, 2023 | Updated on: April 9, 2023

China's President Xi Jinping. (Photo by Noel CELIS / AFP)

In a rerun of August 2022 when it flexed its military muscle to send clear warnings to it just as the former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi was visiting Taipei, China kept demonstrating that it can cut off the self-ruled island of Taiwan whenever it wishes.

Three days of patrols drills on all four sides of Taiwan with multiple aircraft crossing the median line are meant to demonstrate its strength and signal its annoyance at the Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen visiting the United States and calling on Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The greater fear is that China keeps demonstrating that it could cross the strait into Taiwan in more menacing ways when it so chooses.

Whenever China fulminates, the region could catch a cold from the sheer tension of it all as its military ability to take Taiwan is never in doubt. Mr Xi Jinping’s China keeps averring that it is looking to merge Taiwan through peaceful means of negotiations and of convincing the Taiwanese people, but eventual unification is a must.

The geopolitics of today’s multipolar world is such that China as a dominant global player can be ignored only at the peril of the free world. When Mr Xi began his third term with peace moves getting Saudi Arabia and Iran to break the ice, it heralded a modicum of positivity amid a welcome change to China’s confrontational approach.

It was, however, predictable that China will not allow tranquility to prevail for long. The same could have been sensed last week when China floated once again the false narrative by renaming areas in Arunachal Pradesh and disturbing an already complex equation and fragile sense of peace beyond the constant of the simmering boundary dispute with India.

By inventing names, China is not going to change Arunachal Pradesh’s status as an integral part of India. But these nefarious designs are China’s way of often telling the world of its rising prowess as a counterbalancing force to the US and the nearest neighbours like Taiwan across the China Sea and India with its long land border must suffer the pinpricks.