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Washington seeking to spoil neighbors' detente

By LI YANG | China Daily | Updated: 2022-12-02 08:24

The White House is seen in Washington, DC, US on Aug 7, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

The concerns China has expressed on Wednesday over the 18th India-US joint military exercise "Yudh Abhyas" that started one day earlier in Uttarakhand, India, just 100 kilometers from the Line of Actual Control, is fully justified.

The exercise violates the spirit of the two border agreements signed between New Delhi and Beijing in 1993 and 1996, and is detrimental to the trust between the two countries.

Although Washington and New Delhi claimed the nearly two-week military exercise aims to "enhance interoperability and share expertise between both armies in peacekeeping and disaster relief operations", it is no secret that the United States is taking advantage of it to try and sow discord between China and India.

The US has no immediate national interests in the hinterland of Asia. Any inputs there serve geopolitical purposes — playing India, the world's largest democracy, as it is referred to in the US' alliance discourse, against Russia on the Ukraine conflict and the energy trade, and against China on the border dispute.

In that sense, the claimed purpose of the exercise for "peacekeeping and disaster relief operations "is only a disguise — the US was absent from all disaster relief efforts in Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan after these countries were hit hard by earthquakes and floods in recent years. Not to mention the humanitarian disaster Afghanistan is experiencing now was an immediate result of the US' failed democracy experiment in the country over the past 20 years that was started by an invasion by the US and its allies.

Fully aware of the ugly role the US is playing with the exercise, China expressing "concern" toward the joint drills can only be described as reasonably reserved. This is because it does not want to jeopardize the positive, though delicate, momentum of the improvement of ties with India.

Despite the US' continuous attempts to rub salt on India's wounds over the incident, there has been a reconciliation between China and India to some extent after the border clash between Chinese and Indian troops in June 2020 dealt a heavy blow to their relations.

The extent to which Washington has tried to coerce India to join the US' sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, which it resisted, should serve to show New Delhi that the US is only trying to draw it into its geopolitical games.

It is a consensus of the two neighbors that their border dispute, a problem created and left behind by the British colonialists on purpose, should not influence the overall stability of their relations. The border issue should be resolved through dialogue without any interference from any external parties.

And keeping stable relations with China and Russia does not conflict with India's ties with the US. Being able to balance well among major countries is conducive to India playing an increasingly important and unique role on the world stage.

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