China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea — equipped with military bases, naval ports and airfields — pose a strategic threat to neighboring countries. In 2018, China landed nuclear strike-capable bombers on these artificial islands, sending an alarming message to the U.S. and regional powers.
Some commentators ascribe China’s stepped-up predations — on Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and Australia — to a hope that the world is too distracted by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic devastation it unleashed to bother confronting China, let alone stop it.
While the U.S. has decreased its nuclear stockpile, China is boosting its arsenal, according to a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on June 15.
The Free World, if it wishes to remain free, seriously needs to stand with the world’s largest democracy. If China is allowed to succeed in its aggression, it will only embolden the Communists in Beijing to redraw borders, dictate terms to other countries in the region, and press on with its plan to dominate the world.
India has been facing its toughest military challenge in nearly six decades after 20 Indian soldiers were reported killed by Chinese troops in a border clash.
The soldiers were beaten to death with “sticks, fists, rocks and wooden clubs” during a confrontation in the Himalayan region of eastern Ladakh, Indian sources said. In keeping with a 1996 bilateral border agreement between India and China, soldiers are forbidden from firing weapons in the area where the clash occurred.
Chinese troops carried out a “premeditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties”, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on June 17.
“Based on what I know, Chinese side also suffered casualties,” tweeted the editor-in-chief of the Chinese newspaper Global Times, a Communist Party mouthpiece.
“Indian intercepts reveal that Chinese side suffered 43 casualties including dead and seriously injured in the violent face-off,” New Delhi-based Hindustan Times newspaper reported that military sources had said..
Beijing, so far, has not confirmed these figures.
The conflict between the two nuclear-armed powers reignited last month after 12,000 Chinese troops crossed into Indian territory. In May, China’s People’s Liberation Army invaded the strategic Galwan Valley, located near India’s northern tip, and occupied over 23 square miles of territory, Indian media reported. “[T]he capture of Galwan river valley provides the PLA strategic domination over positions overlooking India’s Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DSDBO) road, which connects Leh to the Karakoram Pass,” the Indian news website Print reported.
In the India-China war of 1962, Chinese troops occupied nearly 15,000 square miles of Indian territory. China still refuses to recognize large parts of its 2,100 mile-long border with India, and has been demanding an additional 35,000 square miles of territory in India’s northeastern region.
Faced with an invasion of strategic heights and the brutal deaths of its soldiers, India is under pressure to respond to Chinese aggression. Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed on June 17 to “firmly protect every inch of the country’s land and its self-respect” in face of Chinese incursion. “I want to assure the Nation [ … ]