US provoking India-China tensions, Delhi does not want to be used as tool: Analysts

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US diplomatic circles have supported India in its confrontation with China on the border and in the Indian Ocean. First Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Alice Wells, who is resigning in May, has accused China of using border clashes with India to change the status quo at the border.

On 20 May, Alice Wells, a US ambassador, spoke at an online conference at the Atlantic Council, one of America’s leading think tanks, regarding the border standoff between India and China. Talking to Rish Verma, the US Ambassador to India from 2014-2017, she drew parallels between the confrontation in the Himalayas and the situation regarding the disputed South China Sea. The diplomat called China’s actions on the border with India, as well as in the South China Sea, “constant aggression”, “constant attempts” to change existing norms and the status quo, Business Insider India cited her as saying.

She then called to counter China, both in the South China Sea and on India’s land and sea borders, while adding that the increased presence of the Chinese military on the border, where temporary clashes are quite common, has caused concern on the Indian side. According to her, the issue is becoming more acute in light of Beijing’s efforts to “evade responsibility and spread misinformation”. Many analysts believe that the United States has always been interested in maintaining tensions between India and China. This is one of the tools to implement their Indo-Pacific strategy, aimed, among other things, at strengthening the country’s influence in South Asia, Andrei Volodin, an IMEMO RAS expert, professor at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, pointed out:

“The statement (by the American ambassador) is just one example. Moreover, this statement obviously fits into the Trump administration’s current general strategy to discredit China as the ‘source’ of the coronavirus pandemic. The US, which is conducting an anti-Chinese campaign, is now trying to involve the maximum number of not only their satellites in Western Europe, but also the maximum number of Asian states. Asian countries, in general, react quite neutrally to these attempts”.

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