NEW DELHI: The escalation of tensions along the LAC is likely to affect the geopolitics of the region as well as the world, experts say.
“China knows the balance of power in the region is titled in its favour and also that it is a strong voice in the geopolitics of the world. Also, it is sure that except India, there are not many nations that will stand up to it. Hence it is behaving in this manner. However, in the wake of the Covid-19 and the recent adventurism at the border, it is losing face. Liberal democracies will become more vocal against the Chinese,” BR Deepak, chairperson of the Centre for Chinese and South Asian Studies at JNU, said.
Russia-based political analyst Andrew Korybko is of the opinion that bilateral relations would never be the same again and that multilateral organisation in which China and India are a part will also take a hit.
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“This incident will almost certainly shape their perceptions of one another going forward, the result of which will likely see India intensifying its ‘comprehensive global strategic partnership’ with America to the point of a de-facto pivot. In response, China would be expected to double down on its own strategic partnership with Pakistan since the two share the same threat perception of India. Russia, meanwhile, will attempt to “balance” between its two main Asian partners, but will have difficulty doing so since neither of them requested its diplomatic mediation and seemingly prefer to see Moscow stay out of this dispute since it won’t take either of their sides,” he said.
Similar views were echoed by Debasish Chaudhari of the Institute of Chinese Studies. “We have seen the Chinese diplomats get more arrogant and dismiss world opinions. With the tensions at the border escalating, their real face will be exposed to the world and they’ll face repercussions,” he said.
However, the experts feel the decoupling of China by India or the world would not be complete. “There are lot of countries whose economic growth depends on China. Hence the de-coupling from India’s point of view must be strategic. They should identify sectors in which they want to have a relationship with China,” he said.
China has been at the receiving end of criticism over the Covid-19 and the Hong Kong protests. “America wants to shift global supply chains away from China, and India could conveniently be an ideal destination for companies to re-offshore their operations from the People’s Republic to the US’ new ally. Doing so would also add an important economic complement to their military partnership. Nevertheless, this is an extended process given its technical complexity, so it won’t be accomplished in the immediate future, but could accelerate in the aftermath of the latest India-China clash since America has an interest in portraying China as a rogue state whose aggressive foreign policy is endangering foreign investments,” Korybko said.
It might be difficult for smaller countries to stand up against Chinese hegemony, the West will surely look for alternatives, said a UK-based political economist