Featured Article: Behind China’s threat to support insurgency in India – Asia Times

Featured Article: Behind China’s threat to support insurgency in India – Asia Times

We are continuing our new series of a featured article from the sidebar of What Others are Writing Section on the Homepage. There were several candidates for today’s feature, with a special shout out to The War on the Rocks’ The Last Jihadi Superstar  (is it o.k. to laugh at that?) and Pakistan’s Unconventional War Failure from The Forge. Both are really good and definitely worth your time as are so many other articles that we linked too. Head over to the front page and check out some of the other candidates for today’s post!

Today’s Featured Article comes from the Asia Times: Behind China’s threat to support insurgency in India.

Why This is Important

This article is important for many reasons but I believe it is important because it demonstrates that economic decisions are not made in a vacuum and can have national security concerns that others will exploit to expose your vulnerabilities. India is a vast and diverse country that has been in a protracted dispute with Pakistan and other political movements that China would be more than willing to exploit if their interests are threatened. As our military ties with India deepen, China may be more willing to exploit these ‘separatist’ ideologies. From the article:  

China does not normally object when other countries trade with Taiwan as long as it is done on a private level. But when news reports began circulating about the possibility of an official Indian-Taiwan trade pact, China hit back via its mouthpiece media with unprecedented threats.

Long Xingchun, president of the Chengdu Institute of World Affairs, a think tank administered by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote in the Chinese Communist Party-run Global Times on October 22 that “once a country wants to develop official trade ties [with Taiwan], it is by no means a purely trade issue.”

He followed with a stern if not ominous warning: “If India supports Taiwan secessionist forces, China and India will come to hostility, especially if the India’s moves (sic) force China to support secessionist forces in India as a countermeasure. Each would attack the weakness of the other.”

Who are the separatists that China would be supporting? The article continues:

What is known is that Paresh Baruah and other leaders of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) have for years resided in various towns near the Myanmar border in China’s western Yunnan province.

That is also the base for at least two ethnic resistance forces from Manipur, another restive state in northeastern India.

Those forces, in turn, are allied with the Khaplang-faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K), which draws most of its support from ethnic Nagas on the Myanmar side of the border, but also has a following inside Nagaland and Manipur in India.

For years, Naga, Assamese and Manipuri insurgents have been based in remote mountains of Myanmar’s northwestern Sagaing Region, from where they have launched raids into India and then retreated across the border beyond the Indian army’s reach.

The article continues with A LOT of detail about each group and the movements they represent but I don’t want to just copy and past the entire article and you really should read the entire thing. I will however leave you with the final couple of paragraphs:

Only time will tell if China intends to act on its threat, which if so would open a sort of proxy front as the two sides face off over territory in the western Himalayas near Ladakh.

While the opinion expressed by a representative at a Chinese state-backed think tank is not official policy, Global Times would never be allowed to publish an op-ed that completely contradicts its official position.

Remember, India is a country with a population over 1.3 billion and is vastly more culturally, economically and ecologically diverse than you may think. Just to highlight that diversity, if you have a Disney+ account, watch this two-part documentary series, India From Above.

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