India wary of China's growing regional, global ambitions

·2-min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

Washington [US], January 4 (ANI): India has always been wary of China's growing ambitions but the relationship between the countries began experiencing a downward spiral since the clashes in the Galwan Valley last year that claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers.

Before the Galwan Valley clashes, China had been one of India's top trading partners. While China's telecommunications companies were among those who had installed 3G and 4G systems in India, Huawei was also on the road to install 5G systems, said The World, a US public radio news magazine.

However, the future plans of Chinese telecommunications companies crashed following the attack on Indian soldiers by China. India banned dozens of Chinese apps including TikTok citing security concerns.

"The fear is that they have source code of these technologies and they can manipulate it to their advantage in a critical situation... Or they can literally shut off some networks -- critical networks," VK Cherian, a telecommunications consultant in New Delhi, was quoted as saying.

According to The World, even before border tensions ramped up, Indian strategists had become increasingly wary of China's regional and global ambitions -- with a Chinese presence now firmly entrenched in deep-water ports to India's east in Myanmar, to its south in Sri Lanka, and to its west in Pakistan.

India has resisted joining groups that are dominated by China such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Agreement and China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

One of the reasons for India not joining the BRI is that this project aims to solidify China's power in the new network of global trade and power.

The other reason is that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) runs through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

"So far as India is concerned, there is no way we can ever support the CPEC. It passes through our sovereign territory," Dhruv Katoch, a retired major-general in the Indian army who spent much of his career defending Indian sovereignty in Kashmir, was quoted as saying.

He further said, "India must always be on alert about China's BRI activities in Pakistan, including the construction of dams, a railway and a road that will run from China, through Kashmir, diagonally southwest across the country, to Pakistan's strategically-located port of Gwadar."

While highlighting that the road passing from China through PoK to Gwadar is a matter of concern, Katoch said, "To protect that road, a very large number of Pakistani military troops are employed. But what is not known is that a very large number of Chinese soldiers are also employed."

"These soldiers are not in uniform, but they are part of the security apparatus of the Chinese state...And I think it gives China and Pakistan a nexus to join hands from this particular area should any hostilities take place between India and China," he added. (ANI)