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Authoritarian republic above the law

Posted July. 27, 2020 07:52,   

Updated July. 27, 2020 07:52


With the death of 20 Indian troops revealed to the outside, the border dispute between China and India garnered worldwide attention. Considering such elevated tensions, it may not come as a surprise to hear that they engage in a military conflict right away. A Nepalese village was forcibly occupied by Chinese forces early in June, which may have not been widely reported. China claimed that the Rui Village, home to 70 Nepalese families, used to belong to Tibetan territory and, thus, Beijing has the right to occupy the village. They got rid of a border milestone built up by the Nepalese government.

Early this month, China embarked on a territorial dispute with Bhutan. It claimed their right to a natural reserve 70 times larger than Yeouido on the grounds that it used to be in control of the Chinese government. China and Myanmar are also at odds with each other. The Burmese government said on July 2 that Beijing fuels regional disputes by providing arms to rebels and terrorist groups, which are based in the border area with China. Myanmar is suspicious that China attempts to stir confusion and fortify its control of the region so that it can be annexed to Chinese territory.

China has been in conflict over maritime rights in the South China Sea with six nations – Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. Beijing claims its right to 90 percent of the South China Sea region, reaffirming its determination to take tight control of the whole region by performing a large-scale military drill with 3,000 missiles shooting in the skies over the disputed sea. In response, the Indonesian government carried out a massive military exercise on Saturday in the South China Sea while Taiwan plans to raise military spending. Added to this, the maritime dispute between China and Japan is ever escalating over the Senkaku Islands, a.k.a. Diaoyu Islands. Chinese coastal guards have been sending patrol ships to the troubled region over more than three months.

China shows no hesitation of robbing a neighboring nation of a village of its own, which has not been part of Chinese territory. It brazenly does the same in the sea, merely trying to demonstrate its growing power. Given this, China's moves are in stark contrast to what the United States has done. There has been some cause such as peacekeeping or human rights along the path that Washington has taken as a lasting global leader who has stronger global power than Beijing.

Will China's winning of any of the ongoing battles take it closer to being an absolute global leader? It is highly likely that China will be ostracized from the international community if it only sticks to Chinese communist values with a lack of consensus on common values shared across the rest of the world. Only a disgraceful rumor will prove that Beijing is a legendary fighter who beat up 15 opponents at once.

Ki-Yong Kim kky@donga.com