After Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a thunderous speech at Nimmoo, Ladakh yesterday, China has been pushed into the defensive and reactionary mode. Not only has the Indian side, led by PM Modi upped the ante against China, but has also made it clear that failure on the part of the Chinese to restore status quo ante as of early May will have far-reaching consequences. By landing at Leh unannounced, PM Modi has signalled to the Xi Jinping regime that India reserves the right to surprise China, and that they must get their act together and retreat immediately.
In what can be seen as a definite consequence of PM Modi’s aggressive speech yesterday, China has been forced to plead the Indian side to not take actions which can be detrimental to bilateral relations between the two countries. As such, one is reminded of what Foreign Minister Dr. S Jaishankar told his Chinese counterpart, where he signalled bilateral relations are already suffering a massive hit, and even hinting that the relations between the two countries will now never be the same.
China’s foreign ministry, reacting to PM Modi’s surprise visit to Ladakh and his aggressive pitch, said that India should follow the same goal as China and “strictly follow the treaties signed through diplomatic and military channels to ensure tranquillity.” Chinese MEA spokesperson added, “India and China are major developing countries, the Indian side should not have miscalculations.”
“India and China are in communication through negotiation in diplomatic channels, no party should act in a manner which could lead to escalation of tensions,” the foreign ministry spokesman said. On the issue of bilateral relations, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it is keen to uphold the same with India.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India, while reacting to yesterday’s events, said, “China has demarcated boundary with 12 of its 14 neighbouring countries through peaceful negotiations, turning land borders into bonds of friendly cooperation. It’s groundless to view China as “expansionist”, exaggerate & fabricate its disputes with neighbours.” Interestingly, while PM Modi did not even mention China in his speech, their embassy spokesperson here seems to intuitively know that it was China which was being called an expansionist force.
#China has demarcated boundary with 12 of its 14 neighboring countries through peaceful negotiations, turning land borders into bonds of friendly cooperation. It's groundless to view China as "expansionist", exaggerate & fabricate its disputes with neighbours.
— Ji Rong (@ChinaSpox_India) July 3, 2020
For all their social media stunts showing PLA as a formidable force with impeccable driving and parking skills, China realises that a conflict with India would derail their dream of emerging as a global superpower. In a post-COVID world, while the global community is in no mood to let China achieve such a status anymore, the CCP realises that the costs of messing with India can be many. They also realise that it is quite a possibility for them to be given a bloody nose and be humiliatingly defeated in case of a limited conflict/small-scale war with India. Therefore, their willingness to engage in talks, and not indulge in further escalation makes sense. The Chinese must, however, remember that India still reserves the right to retaliate.