China continues to mark the global pandemic with troublemaking the world really doesn’t need right now. The latest: aggression across the Line of Actual Control on its border with India.
Monday’s deadly skirmish killed 20 Indian soldiers and likely left Chinese casualties, too — though Beijing won’t confirm it. These were the first combat deaths on the border since 1975.
China blamed India for carrying out “provocative attacks,” leading to “serious physical conflicts” in the snow-covered western Himalayas. But Beijing is the one who’s been pushing for weeks, impinging on territory it hasn’t actively claimed for decades, supposedly because Delhi has … modernized the highway that runs along its side of the Line.
Skeptics will suggest that China is (once again) employing its favorite tactic: provoking an external conflict to distract from domestic discontent. The new crisis follows renewed COVID-19 outbreaks, including one in Beijing, that put the lie to the Communist Party’s claims to have mastered the art of keeping the virus under control.
Washington’s best response is to strengthen its growing partnership with Delhi — and keep on reducing America’s dependence on China, a nation that simply can’t be trusted.
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