Australia takes side in China-India border standoff, experts warn of instigation

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/2 20:12:54

 Photo: Xinhua

Chinese experts warned India of Australia's instigation on the eased border standoff with China after Australia's High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell expressed support for India over the issue during a recent meeting with the Indian external affairs minister.

The commissioner's remarks claiming that "Australia supports continued moves by India for de-escalation" at the LAC (Line of Actual Control) and "opposes any attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo" in an interview on Thursday after the meeting was seen by Chinese observers as Australia standing with India and shoving the blame against China while conveying its opinion over the China-India border tensions. 

Qian Feng, director of the research department of the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday that the position of Australia on the issue was expected in light of a series of anti-China actions the country has taken on various issues such as the South China Sea, Hong Kong and Huawei.

"Taking sides on India is not a surprising move from Australia as it is consistent with the country's role in the global picture - a stooge of the US and an increasingly-close partner of India," said Qian.

Australia and India upgraded their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership in June and signed an agreement for reciprocal access to military logistics. 

India was also reported in July to be mulling to invite Australia to join the high-level Malabar naval exercises together with the US and Japan. 

Qian warned India to be alert of Australia's instigation regarding the border standoff, which has calmed with both countries' border troops on the frontline completing disengagement in most locations after four rounds of commander-level talks and three meetings on border affairs discussions and coordination being held between the two countries. 

"The border tensions have been fueled by some Western countries led by the US since the conflict started and China-India relations might face more of such situations in the future. India needs to act cautiously on such provocations at this sensitive moment to ensure long-term security and economic stability between the two countries," said Qian. 

Australia suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in July and planned to extend visas for Hong Kong residents as opposition to China's national security law for Hong Kong. 

The country also submitted a declaration to the United Nations on July 23, accusing China of having no "legal basis" to its territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea.

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