‘Wolf-warrior diplomacy of China in Indian experience has gone beyond sabre-rattling’

New Delhi: Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and former Minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor has said that China’s “wolf-warrior diplomacy” in the Indian experience has gone beyond “sabre-rattling to sabre-thrusting” and India should ensure peace through skillful diplomacy with Beijing as well as by adequately shoring up to defend itself.

Speaking at an India Global Forum session on ‘Global Leadership – The Future of Multilateralism’, the senior Congress leader said it is very clear that under President Xi Jinping, China is transitioning from “bide your time approach” that it undertook under Deng Xiaoping who wanted China to grow and become strong and wealthy but “keep its head down”, news agency PTI reported.

Referring to the killing of 20 Indian army personnel in Galwan clash in Ladakh, Tharoor said this was not a small matter as the border had been very tranquil for about half a century before the incident took place.

“Suddenly the Chinese come out, move into territory that previously both sides have been patrolling and withdrawing from…establish permanent positions there and when our soldiers go to ask them politely to leave, they are killed,” Tharoor was quoted as saying.

Tharoor, who served as MoS for external affairs between May 2009-April 2010, said: “So the wolf-warrior diplomacy in the Indian experience has gone beyond Chinese rhetoric and sabre-rattling to actual sabre-thrusting and that is not something we can afford to take lightly.”

The ‘Wolf Warrior diplomacy’ is a term that has been used to describe confrontational rhetoric by Chinese diplomats to ward off criticism on a host of issues. The term was coined from the 2017 Hollywood Rambo-style Chinese action film “Wolf Warrior 2”. Sabre-rattling is a display or threat of military force

Pointing to numerous examples of China’s “wolf warrior behaviour”, he said the rest of the world has to sit up and pay attention.

“Certainly, in India, we would be foolish to ignore what we have seen happening on our own borders and we would be very foolish to not take China seriously when it starts bristling about one thing or another in its own neighborhood,” Tharoor was quoted as saying in the report.

Noting that India is a next-door neighbour of China and the country is its biggest trading partner, Tharoor said New Delhi has a lot at stake and has to think carefully while dealing with China.

India and China were locked in a military standoff at multiple friction points in eastern Ladakh since early May last year. However, the two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong lake in February following a series of military and diplomatic talks.

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