New Delhi: India’s response to Chinese aggression in eastern Ladakh has been very good so far even though it got off to a bad start because of not being able to detect the initial incursions until they had occurred, strategic scholar, Ashley J. Tellis has said. at the latest edition of Off The Cuff Friday, Tellis said, “The fact that India has brought up its forces to the front and refused to succumb to Chinese efforts to impose a fait accompli, I think should send a signal to Xi that this is not going to be a walkover.”
According to Tellis, who is a Senior Fellow at think-tank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, President Xi Jinping’s attempt to complete Beijing’s reunification project and “rightfully” secure what he believes has always belonged to China is the reason behind Chinese aggression in eastern Ladakh.
Explaining the reasons behind Chinese aggression in Ladakh, where the PLA has transgressed at multiple places, Tellis said, “President Xi Jinping sees himself at being at a point in history, where Chinese power enables him to complete that reunification project.”Xi looks at the world in “considerable disarray”, said Tellis. “He sees the United States as not willing to exhibit global leadership. And so this is a great opportunity from the point of view of Xi Jinping to sort of go out and finally secure what he has believed has always been China’s.” Moreover, the aggression in eastern Ladakh can also be perceived as the “recovery of status that China once enjoyed in the international system”, said Tellis.
“If those dreams have to be realized, there has to be only one axial power in Asia and that’s China. Any other powers that end up posing as pretenders to being China’s peers, those powers have to be cut to size,” Tellis said, adding that Xi had tried to do it with Japan and is now trying the same with India. “The desire is to put India in a box to show India where it’s positioned in the status hierarchy of Asia,” added the scholar.