GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA
The Sino-India face-off at the line of actual control (LAC) in the Ladakh region, and fanning beyond, is a matter of grave concern. Beijing has taken things too far by interfering with the patrolling of Indian soldiers’ across the LAC. Its cunning move, however, has not amused New Delhi which is keen not to let it off the hook. A cautious India does not mean China can enfeeble it. India knows the reasons for China trying to touch its raw nerve. Any development, or for that matter any Indian movement, along the LAC, upsets China to no end. Of late, an unexpected Indian resistance to Chinese domination in the area has pushed China to the wall. Beijing views New Delhi’s supposed proximity to Washington, especially after the famous Trump visit to India and the Corona pandemic, as a ‘threat’ to its perceived ‘regional hegemony’. India’s trade shift towards other countries is a new, and unexpected, development for China. Also, Beijing is miffed with India on the Ladakh issue. Ladakh metamorphosing into a Union Territory is not to China’s liking because a Ladakh with enhanced powers means more say to the vox populi, a big ‘no’ in China’s scheme of things. Nepal PM, K P Sharma Oli’s visit to India, in June 2018, and his surprising bonhomie with PM Modi, has also had an impact on Jinping. China is trying to cash-in on Nepal’s unhappiness over India, and PM Oli’s decision to redraw his country›s political map has come at the right time for China. Seen against the backdrop of the Sino-Indian tension, Nepal›s new-found «aggression» is understandable. Nevertheless, it is time both countries agree upon both short term aims and long term goals. No matter what, they share many common interests. Disagreements have to be worked upon, and strengths have to be cemented. Friendship between two top powers of Asia holds great importance for peace and tranquility in the region.