Chinese People Liberation Army has provoked the “Indian nationalist tiger” by engaging in a face-off with Indian Army personnel in which 20 soldiers were killed, according to US media. The violent clash that took place late evening and night of June 15 was a result of an attempt by the Chinese troops to “unilaterally change” the status quo during de-escalation.
“Beating 20 Indian soldiers to death Monday evening, China’s People’s Liberation Army has provoked the Indian nationalist tiger,” Journalist Tom Rogan wrote in an opinion piece in Washington Examiner.
Highlighting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s power flows from the nationalist base, Rogan said that Modi has skillfully redirected Indian nationalist sentiments away from their prior obsession with domestic sectarian interests and toward the idea of India as a key international player.
Rogan is of the view that PM Modi faces a distinct challenge with the recent violent clash with the PLA. “He (PM Modi) will feel especially pressured to respond forcefully given perceptions in his Bharatiya Janata Party that he acted too timidly to a February 2019 attack by Pakistani terrorists. Adding fuel to the fire, this isn’t the first recent Chinese escalation against Indian interests,” Rogan said.
Over the past two months, the PLA has been increasingly aggressive along the Line of Control, frequently confronting Indian patrols on the assumed Indian side of the border, he noted
Chinese President Xi Jinping has also allowed the PLA to send aggressive officers to engage with more diplomatically minded Indian Army commanders. This is straight out of China’s now reflexively imperialist foreign policy strategy and is designed to intimidate India into compromises that favour Beijing.
Rogan said that the United States should stand with India in the border issue with China. “The world’s most populous democratic nation is facing the same Chinese aggression that Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines experience nearly every day in the South China Sea. And it poses an existential threat to the American-led liberal international order,” he wrote.