‘Indians feel assaulted and humiliated by China’ after border clash

Foreign Affairs

A rundown of all the internet had to say about the worst day in India-China relations in many decades

The most recent covers of India’s two largest-circulation weekly news magazines, per Constantino Xavier.

A week after a bloody melee at the China-India border, the Indian public and officials continue to seethe about China. Indian officials see China as making new, unilateral claims to “the western edge of the [Galwan] river where it meets the Shyok River,” according to The Hindu.

  • China is now being framed as a rival to “take on,” or even as “Enemy Number 1,” in English-language media in India, per Brookings Institution scholar Constantino Xavier.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was widely mocked for remarking “Nobody has intruded into our border” — former prime minister Manmohan Singh also weighed in — leading to a clarification from the Prime Minister’s office.
  • There have also been calls for a boycott of Chinese goods, though many Indian commentators have mixed feelings about that.

“Whatever happened high up in the Himalayas, Indians feel assaulted and humiliated by China,” writes Financial Times foreign affairs columnist Gideon Rachman. He suggests that the Indian government is seriously considering moving closer to the U.S.:

There is now near-consensus in the Indian policymaking elite that China is a hostile power and that India’s only feasible response is to move closer to the U.S. and to Asian democracies, such as Japan and Australia…

Any thought of trying to maintain equidistance between the U.S. and China, is now likely to be abandoned by India. There are even hints that India may consider a formal alliance with the U.S. One Indian intellectual, close to the Modi government, observed pointedly last week that one reason China might feel free to kill Indian soldiers — but not Japanese or Taiwanese troops — is that Japan and Taiwan are sheltering under a U.S. security umbrella.

Other analysts have also converged on the same conclusion, that India is likely to seek a closer relationship with the U.S. in response to the clash with China. See:

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