Analysis: With all eyes on Taiwan, tensions on the Chinese border are rising

And now, the tension seems to be rising again.

According to unverified reports, soldiers from both sides have been briefly detained by each other, as military bases have been strengthened and talks to defuse the situation seem like a standoff.

In 1962, India and China went to war over high, inaccessible border areas in the mountains, eventually establishing the LAC. But the two countries do not agree on its exact location and both regularly accuse each other of trying to cross it, or expand their territory. Since then, there has been a series of mostly non-lethal scuffles between them over the border position – until June 2020 clash, the deadliest on the LAC in over 40 years.

Following the fighting, in which at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed, the military leaders concerned held one-on-one talks to defuse tensions.

The 13th of those meetings was held on a Sunday – and it didn’t end well. Earlier discussions had made some progress in pacifying the border, but a statement by the Indian Defense Ministry on Monday accused China of no longer cooperating.

“The Indian side conveys that the situation on the LAC is due to unilateral attempts by the Chinese side to change the status quo and violate bilateral agreements,” the statement said.

“The Indian side therefore made constructive suggestions to resolve the remaining areas but the Chinese side did not agree and could not make any forward-looking proposals.”

Beijing sees the situation differently.

“China has made great efforts to promote easing and cooling of the border situation and has fully demonstrated its sincerity to maintain the overall status of relations between the two armies. also insisted on unreasonable and unrealistic demands, making negotiations more difficult,” Colonel Long Shaohua, spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Western Theater Command, said in a statement.

An extensive article in China’s official Global Times tabloid intensified the rhetoric, accusing India of “triggering new developments on the eastern side of the border”.

Following reports earlier this year that real progress was being made, including Satellite images breaking China’s border posts, the flashpoint of the Himalayas has largely fallen off the world’s radar – even more so than Taiwan has received lately.

But over the past few weeks, both Indian and Chinese media have run stories about unverified fresh confrontations along the LAC, all of which have reportedly been resolved peacefully.

The Global Times said the unverified encounters have strained relations along the border.

“Chinese experts have warned of the risks of a new conflict, saying that China should not only refuse to accede to India’s arrogant demands at the negotiating table, but to defend itself against a new Indian military offensive,” the report said. Must be ready too.”

According to the Global Times, subsequent claims of PLA garrisons on the Himalayan border described “stressful daily working conditions” with alarm sounding, commanders leading patrols on the front and soldiers “writing appeals for battle assignments”.

The report also cited Chinese efforts to build infrastructure in the region, saying the move has boosted the morale of troops and the ability to move to hotspots along the LAC.

Why the India-China border situation should be heating up now, Chinese state media provides a familiar answer. Just as it does with regard to tensions on Taiwan — near which chinese warplane There have been more than 150 flights this month alone — the Global Times points the finger at the United States.

“(India) sees that Washington attaches great importance to New Delhi, as US President Joe Biden has frequently held talks with the Indian government since taking office, and on plans to jointly thwart China’s development. discussed,” Lin Minwang, professor at the Institute for International Studies at Fudan University, reported in the Global Times.

Indeed, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had joined Biden and the Prime Ministers of Australia and Japan in Washington last month. First in-person meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, known as “The Quad” – an informal strategic forum of four democracies with a vested interest in countering China’s rise in Asia.

In an opinion post after the Quad summit, Professor Li Haidong of the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University wrote that Quad members “will not stop promoting China’s threat doctrine.”

Amid PLA air force incursions around Taiwan earlier this month, the Global Times said the US and Japan were pushing the situation around the self-governing island to the brink, “creating a sense of urgency that the war would be at some point.” Time can start too.”

And a headline on Monday’s Global Times story on the Himalayas said that PLA border troops were “prepared for the upcoming confrontation.”

Taiwan and the Himalayas may be 2,800 miles (4,500 kilometers) apart and completely different environments, but in both territorial disputes with Beijing, temperatures appear to be rising – and according to China, the US is at the center of it.

all on biodiversity

Giant pandas at the Shenshuping Base of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, which will become part of the Giant Panda National Park in Sichuan, China, on September 3.

China is investing $232 million in a biodiversity conservation fund for developing countries, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday during the United Nations Biodiversity Summit.

Xi announced the creation of the fund during a virtual address at the COP15 conference held in Kunming, China. “China calls for and welcomes contributions from other parties to the fund,” Xi said.

CNN has not seen any documentation that describes how the fund will work.

Xi also said he would “establish a protected area system” for China’s national parks, which would place 230,000 square kilometers (88,800 sq mi) of land under state protection – a plan that has been in the works for years. The plan includes the Giant Giant Panda National Park, which is spread over three provinces.

“The areas with the most importance to the natural ecosystem, and the most unique natural landscapes, the most valuable natural heritage and the largest biodiversity reserves will be included in the national park system,” Xi said at the conference.

The week marks the opening of the largely formal first phase of talks during the COP15 conference, with countries scheduled to meet in person in Kunming from April to May next year.

The goal is to create a legally binding UN agreement between the participating countries to prevent the loss of biodiversity in the coming decade.

This is not the first time the world has tried to come together on this issue. The leaders of 196 countries held a conference in 2010, which resulted in a 10-year plan called the Aichi Biodiversity Goal. Last year, the deadline arrived – and the world collectively failed to fully achieve a goal, the United Nations concluded in its final report.

And the stakes keep getting higher. According to Swiss Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, a fifth of the world’s countries now run the risk of their ecosystems collapsing.

Nature is depleting globally at rates unprecedented in human history – and countries will need to invest hundreds of billions of dollars to develop sustainable supply chains if they are to protect the rest of our ecosystems.


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