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September 26, 2023

India stays silent on US Warning on China’s ‘Provocation’ in Indo-Pacific Region

BY Shivani

While Western powers are focused on defusing tensions with Russia, China may take advantage of the Ukraine crisis and do something “provocative” in Asia, a US general warned on Wednesday.

General Kenneth Wilsbach, commander of the US Pacific Air Forces, noted that China had sided with Russia in the crisis, raising concerns about the US’s intentions in Asia. Meanwhile, according to two senior officials involved in security issues in Taipei, Taiwan believes Xi Jinping is too focused on a key party meeting to extend his tenure as China’s leader to take military action now, regardless of what happens between Russia and Ukraine.

India remained silent on Friday, even as Japan and Australia joined the US at a Quad meeting to condemn Russia’s military build-up around Ukraine.

New Delhi, on the other hand, stated unequivocally after the Quadrilateral Foreign Ministers meeting in Melbourne, Australia, why it disagreed with President Joe Biden’s administration in Washington DC on imposing sanctions on Myanmar.

Even as he shared the podium with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who criticised Russia for its agreement with Ukraine, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar chose to remain silent. Blinken implicitly argued that allowing Russia to invade Ukraine now would encourage China to increase its military aggression in the Indo-Pacific region.

Since April-May 2020, India has been deploying many soldiers along the disputed boundary between both nations to resist the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s aggressive moves to expand territorial claims in eastern Ladakh.

India told the UN Security Council that it was in favour of finding a solution that would allow for the “immediate de-escalation of tensions” over Ukraine, while also “considering the legitimate security interests of all countries and aimed at securing long-term peace and stability in the region and beyond.”

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