The United States of America has opened yet another front against the People’s Republic of China- Arunachal Pradesh. A US senior State Department official said, “For nearly six decades the US has recognized Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory. We strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by incursions, by military or civilian incursions across the established line of actual control.”
Arunachal Pradesh is Indian territory proper, and there really was no need for the United States to say it in so many words. But the US support to India on Arunachal shows the American intention to kickstart the ‘Cold War’ doctrine. Trump’s foreign policy has a compulsion to jump in and take on every matter concerning China. And secondly, for Trump, the enemy of an enemy is a friend. And therefore, the US is backing China’s foes all fronts.
Therefore, the US has been raking up all possible matters against China, including China’s territorial disputes against Japan, South Korea and India, as well as the ongoing South China Sea disputes. On the other hand, the US is also supporting Taiwan’s bid to formally establish a separate identity from the People’s Republic of China, as well as human rights disputes in other parts of China such as Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong.
For the American foreign policy, the main ambition is to annoy China on every single front. In fact, this is why the US suddenly felt the urge to reaffirm Indian sovereignty in Arunachal Pradesh. The ongoing Sino-India military tensions are confined to the Eastern Ladakh sector, which is a different part of the de facto India- Tibet (China administered) border. Yet, Washington started backing India over Arunachal Pradesh only because it knows that China is sensitive about Arunachal Pradesh and calls it South Tibet.
And then Arunachal is not the only region where the US has tactically annoyed China. Through the ongoing year, the US has deliberately annoyed China in every possible way. The US keeps raising the issue of human rights violations in China-occupied Tibet and funding the Tibetan Government in exile based in India.
Similarly, the US has woken up to Chinese excesses against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. Recently, Trump went as far as signing ‘The Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, 2020’ which paves the way to impose sanctions on the CCP officials who are directly involved in the atrocities committed on the Uyghur Muslims.
And then Hong Kong has, of course, been on the US radar. Ever since China brutally imposed the draconian National Security Law in the so-called Special Administrative Region, the Trump administration has been unapologetically confronting Beijing over Hong Kong. For starters, Trump suspended some Hong Kong trade benefits over the new security law imposed by Beijing. The Trump administration then went ahead to sanction 11 Hong Kong officials, including the Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
And amongst China’s neighbours, the US is empowering every single of its own allies. The Trump administration is also standing solidly behind those who are not American allies per se, but, are at least China’s enemies, and therefore Washington’s friends. Take, for example, Japan.
China was eyeing Japan’s Senkaku Islands, leading to a long stand-off between Japan and China. But the US came out offering to support to Japan against Chinese incursions into Japanese waters near the Senkaku Islands. Similarly, in the case of South Korea, old THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) interceptor missiles at a US base were replaced with new ones, notwithstanding Chinese objections.
In the South China Sea too, the US is standing firmly with Taiwan and other allies. The US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft went as far as demanding Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN system. She said, “The world needs Taiwan’s full participation in the United Nations system, particularly with respect to matters that affect public health and economic development.”
The US is also backing Vietnam and the Philippines with all its might in the South China Sea. In fact, the US is encouraging the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take on China. Washington is making Southeast Asia feel that the US is there to look over the disputed South China Sea region. This is again an example of the new American foreign policy to interject and harass China on every single front.
The US President Donald Trump has started a no-holds-barred campaign against China. Going ahead, the United States will target Beijing on every single front. It is no longer for China to decide which issue becomes a point of confrontation with the outer world. For the US, every single issue concerning China is equally contentious and capable of being exploited to Beijing’s disadvantage.