Russia has warned that any escalation in India-China tensions could be exploited by other players for geopolitical purposes — a clear hint at the US. However, the fact is that it is China that is to be blamed for the current round of tensions between the Asian neighbours. It is China that has unilaterally violated the LAC and is trying to change facts on the ground. It is the Chinese PLA that killed 20 Indian soldiers in clashes in Galwan Valley in June. Therefore, the onus is fully on China to de-escalate the situation and restore calm in the region.
Besides, China’s aggressive behaviour is not just directed at India alone. Southeast Asian nations like Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia too have been at the receiving end of Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. Then there is Chinese belligerence towards Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, while Taiwan in recent years has been constantly threatened by Chinese military manoeuvres.
All of this shows that China’s rise has been anything but peaceful. In such a scenario, countries at the receiving end of Chinese aggression have every right to band together and push back. And given India’s strategic position, it makes a lot of sense for New Delhi to ally with the West to counterbalance Beijing. The problem here is the current Chinese leadership and its desire to impose China’s will on its neighbours. It is Beijing that needs to back down, return to the path of dialogue and respect international rules. It is China that is creating instability in Asia. Moscow would do well to relay that message to Beijing.