View: China drops all diplomatic pretences on Taiwan, Maldives

Author:Shishir Gupta 2024-01-14 12:50 17

While Chinese propaganda media accuses India of “hegemonic mentality in South Asia”, Beijing’s comments after anti-China Lai Ching-te won the Taiwan election with a 40 per cent vote in spite of mainland machinations reveals an imperial Middle-Kingdom mindset of the Xi Jinping regime.

Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The electoral victory of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in a three-cornered contest is definitely a setback for China as the Communist regime may have to reconsider its 2026-2027 military plans to annex democratic Taiwan. Just as China’s founding father Mao Zedong was seen to give respect, Deng Xiaoping gave economic empowerment, paramount leader Xi Jinping sees himself as a unifier of the Middle Kingdom. The man who will translate “One China Policy” into reality.

Amazon Sale season is here! Splurge and save now! Click here

China's stated resolve to conquer Taiwan despite the democratically held election in the island nation and its support in upholding national sovereignty and opposing external interference (read India) for a pro-Beijing Mohammed Muizzu regime in Maldives reveals the coercive diplomatic mindset by the Xi Jinping regime.

The statement said: “ China firmly supports the Maldives in upholding its national sovereignty, independence and national dignity….firmly opposes external interference in the internal affairs of Maldives....The Maldives is committed to the one-China principle……and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory….supports all efforts made by China to achieve national unification.” This is a standard text for Middle-Kingdom’s diplomacy with all tributary states.

Although it is up to Taiwan’s backers in the West to come to terms with its ambiguity over the “One China Policy” and help Taipei against Beijing’s unilateral coercion, Beijing clearly has dropped all pretence with India as is evident from the joint statement issued after President Muizzu’s four-day visit to Beijing. The statement is clearly aimed against Indian interests in the Maldives and totally in support of China against Taiwan with Male virtually acting as a tributary state to the Middle Kingdom.

With China playing anti-India games overtly in the Indo-Pacific and at multilateral institutions, it is time that the Modi regime also upped its counter to the challenge from the northern neighbour and its proxies in the Indian sub-continent. Its economic support to Sri Lanka during its hour of economic crisis clearly has paid dividends with Colombo ready to have inter-grid connectivity, oil pipeline and land connectivity with the Indian mainland via the Rameswaram-TalaiMannar axis.

On December 22, Sri Lanka informed India through diplomatic channels that it would not allow any surveillance-scientific research vessels in 2024, delivering a snub to China. Sri Lanka has agreed to a ferry service between Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu to Kankesanturai port in the north of the Island nation. It has also agreed to flights between Chennai and Jaffna.

While it is quite evident that the Muizzu regime in Maldives will give access to Chinese spy ships to explore the Indian Ocean seabed for future submarine activity, India will have to counter the challenge with the support of allies like Mauritius and Mozambique. But given the distances between China and Maldives and the present capacities of the PLA Navy, a natural disaster-prone Male will soon realize like Nepal that only India has the capacity and can help in the worst-case scenario.

Title:View: China drops all diplomatic pretences on Taiwan, Maldives