China's Main Concern Is The Indian Border And The South China Sea, Not Ukraine

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China accused the United States of 'creating risks' in the South China Sea after the USS Curtis Wilbur (pictured here in 2018) sailed through disputed waters
China accused the United States of 'creating risks' in the South China Sea after the USS Curtis Wilbur (pictured here in 2018) sailed through disputed waters

China's main concern these days is the border disputes with India and the efforts of America and its allies to spoil its grand ambitions to dominate the South China Sea, not the Ukraine crisis.

In an op-ed posted over Sunday in the Global Times, Beijing sees the Ukraine crisis escalating as the Olympic games conclude, but it doesn't see the situation turning into an all-out war.

"The Ukraine crisis remains tense and is becoming more complicated as the U.S. and NATO keep hyping the war concerns over the continent of Europe and Russia took further actions including nuclear deterrence drills since the West made no response to its security concerns," says the editorial. "As the Winter Olympics concluded on Sunday and the UN Olympic Truce for Beijing 2022 will finish, analysts said the crisis is likely to escalate although an all-out war is unlikely."

Meanwhile, Beijing is concerned about the implications the Russia-U.S./NATO crisis has for its disputes in the South China Sea against its neighbors and America and its allies. Beijing sees America and its partners trying to contain China's presence in the South China Sea the same way they try to prevent Russia's presence in Ukraine and other former Soviet countries. "Now the U.S. is trying to impose similar approaches in the Asia-Pacific region by forming alliances like Quad and AUKUS to contain China in the same way as to Russia, to increase uncertainty for regional peace and stability," continues the editorial.

Of course, there's no mention about Beijing's building artificial islands in the South China Sea, trying to turn the vast sea into its sea. Likewise, the editorial doesn't say anything about China's intimidation of neighbors from the Philippines to Vietnam and Malaysia.

In addition, Beijing is concerned about border disputes with India. In another editorial posted on the same issue of Global Times, they accuse India of trying to internationalize the border disputes between the two countries.

"Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar recently has twice mentioned the China-India border dispute on a multilateral occasion at which China was not present," says the editorial. "New Delhi may try to exploit the force of the international community to embolden itself and further play with fire on the border issue. Such a dangerous tendency is what China needs to be wary of."

The editorial claims that India wants to make sure the Ukraine crisis doesn't steer Washington's attention away from the Indo-Pacific region. "By mentioning the border dispute with Beijing, New Delhi is grabbing Washington's attention, screaming, "Don't ignore my appeals! Please continue your suppression and containment of China!"

The growing tensions between China on the one side and India and America on the other side worry Washington military diplomat Yannis Tsinas. "There is no clear indication that the United States, India and China would want an open war, whose impact on the international economy would make COVID-19 look like a common cold," he says. "However, as all three forces are equipped with nuclear weapons, there is always a possibility -- although a small one -- things may turn sour."

"Pressure on any country equipped with nuclear weapons, by exogenous factors, is never a good idea. In fact, these three countries desperately need each other if the world wants to address the real and dire risks of climate change, nuclear war and pandemics. The times we live in call for diplomacy and cooperation, not confrontation," he concludes.


China accused the United States of 'creating risks' in the South China Sea after the USS Curtis Wilbur (pictured here in 2018) sailed through disputed waters

Photo: US NAVY / Benjamin DOBBS

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