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How China is fuelling border tensions to check India’s economic rise in post-COVID-19 world

The coming weeks and months could determine the future of India-China relations, and indeed China’s relationship with the rest of Asia and the world.

May 26, 2020 / 05:10 PM IST

Karthik Subbaraman

While India and the rest of the world battle a pandemic which originated in China, the Chinese have opened a new battlefront — this one involving troops and weapons along India’s contested border with Tibet. As a result, not since the standoff in Doklam nearly three years ago has the relationship between India and China hit such a low ebb. The coming weeks and months could determine the future of India-China relations, and indeed China’s relationship with the rest of Asia and the world.

Across multiple locations on India’s frontier with Tibet —annexed by China in 1950 — China has upped the ante. Its troops have crossed over onto the Indian side in the union territory of Ladakh and started violent clashes along the frontier in Sikkim state. The key question is — why now? What is the message that the communist regime is seeking to send by starting military confrontations when all our attention should be focussed on fighting what US President Donald Trump has labelled the ‘Wuhan virus’(a reference to the Chinese city where the virus originated).