New Delhi: Amid India-China border standoff along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, a threat of the Third World War appears to be looming large. The global community seems to have realised this but the United States is the first country to openly criticise China's aggressive policies.
The US has officially stated that it is reviewing its global deployment of forces to counter the growing Chinese military threat to countries like India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this in response to a question during the virtual Brussels Forum 2020 of the German Marshall Fund on Thursday.
In order to counter China's People's Liberation Army (PLA), the US is reviewing its global deployment of forces in Asia by reducing them from Europe. American military bases in many European countries were established to deal with the threat of Russia for years. Now, China and its Communist Party have emerged as the biggest threat to the world. Under the force posture review, the US is reducing the number of its troops in Germany from about 52,000 to 25,000.
China has been fast expanding military and economic influence in the strategic Indo-Pacific region, triggering concern in various countries of the region and beyond. China is currently engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. It has built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs under its controls in the region.
Pompeo also said that China's PLA was indulging in provocative military actions, while referring to the ongoing military standoff in eastern Ladakh where the PLA killed 20 Indian soldiers on June 15 during a violent face-off, and also cited China's continued aggression in the South China Sea.
If there arises a situation of the Sino-India war, America may come out in support of India, but it would lead to the third world war. Then the countries like Pakistan and North Korea may side with China, while America, Japan, Australia along with India would oppose China's aggression. Countries like Russia, however, may face the dilemma of choosing an old friend India or China.
The question arises why should such a situation come. Rather, the world should unite to question China against its expansionist policies and military activities, which if not stopped now, would create a crisis for the world.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's statement indicates at American strategy to encircle China, but the real siege of the Communist nation will be from Southeast Asia. America has taken the name of countries of this region, especially Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, which are facing the military wrath of China in the South China Sea.
The US entered into an agreement with the Philippines since 1988, while Vietnam has also come closer to the US amid threats from China and is getting the US Navy's support in safeguarding its coastline. American defence cooperation with Indonesia and Malaysia has gradually increased, while in Singapore, the US has an agreement to use the latter's Air and Naval bases.
If America's military presence in these countries increases further, China is likely to be encircled from all the directions in case of any major confrontation. China is very aggressive in this region as well as in the East China Sea. It had openly issued a military threat to Taiwan by sending its fighter jets, but Taiwan repulsed that move.
The US military does not have a permanent base in Taiwan, but it often comes here for training and patrolling. Currently, three US aircraft carriers are stationed near Taiwan. In the Asia-Pacific region, the US military bases are in South Korea and in Japan to deal with China and its friend North Korea.
In South Korea, over 28,000 troops of the US Army, Air Force, and Navy are already stationed. This region has about 15 small and large US military bases. In Japan, the US has about 23 small and large military bases with over 54,000 troops. The 7th largest fleet of the US Navy, with about 50 warships and 20,000 naval soldiers always remain ready in Japan.
Along with South Korea and Japan, about 5,000 US troops are permanently stationed in Guam, a small island, where the US Air Force has it base.
Meanwhile, China's real expansionist face can be witnessed in the nations where it has established its authority. Tibet is one such nation that testifies the atrocities committed by the Communist Party of China and its ruthless army. People who ran away from the erstwhile Buddhist nation still remember those atrocities.
In Ladakh, Zee News visited one such village where the refugees, who fled from Tibet, now live there for years. They recall as to how China first enticed Tibetan people with ration and money and then grabbed their land, and destroyed their culture as well as places of worship.
President Lobsang Sangay of Tibet's government in exile told Zee News how China and its army persecuted Tibetans even today, adding that 10 lakh Tibetans have so far been massacred and 98 percent of their monasteries have been ruined.
After the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959, 560 Tibetan citizens reached Ladakh. Currently, there are 7500 Tibetan refugees all over Ladakh. They lived in tents and camps until 1975 but were later settled in Angling, Choklamsar and Jangthang villages of Ladakh.
Although Tibetan refugees are grateful to India, they still aspire for the liberation of Tibet from China's occupation.