China’s territorial expansionism has entered a dangerous new phase when the world is trying to wrestle with the COVID-19 pandemic

China’s aggression and expansionist drive is making the Indo-Pacific region more volatile and unstable. And its border aggression against India since April reveals a broader strategy of territorial aggrandizement, writes Brahma Chellaney, Professor of Strategic Studies at the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research, in The Hill.

According to the opinion piece, China’s territorial expansion in the South China Sea has centered on capturing disputed but unoccupied shoals and reefs and then using construction activities to turn them into militarized artificial islands.

But its recent actions in the northern Indian region of Ladakh show that China went beyond its usual practice of occupying vacant border spaces by snatching territories from right under another country’s nose, writes Chellaney. This indicates that China’s territorial expansionism has entered a dangerous new phase, and that too challenging a neighbour when the world is trying to wrestle with COVID-19 pandemic.

Bite by bite, China has been eating away at its neighbor’s borderlands, says the article. Moreover, a recently leaked internal report in Nepal has sounded alarm bells. It highlighted that Nepal was losing border territories to China’s construction projects which were also changing the course of rivers.

The opinion piece in The Hill points out how, in the East China Sea, Beijing has stepped into Japan’s territorial waters and airspace, mainly the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands. China wants to strengthen its own sovereignty claims and weaken Japan’s control. Furthermore, as per the article, China wants to show the countries and islands in the region that an alliance with the United States is not an answer to its muscular revisionism.

Read the full article in The Hill