China's recent 'muscular diplomacy' with India reflects a broader trend of Beijing asserting its territorial claims, says a Washington think-tank in a report urging the US to boost strategic ties with India.
Sino-Indian tensions are driven largely by 'China's concern with an emergent India and Beijing's desire to consolidate its Tibet position' said analysts Dean Cheng and Lisa Curtis of the Heritage Foundation. They advised the US to work with India, especially to match increased Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean and 'signal Beijing that its moves will be matched jointly by New Delhi and Washington.'
The authors noted that Chinese soldiers in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir are likely helping build transportation links to China from Gwadar port.
The paper estimated that India would deal with Chinese backtracking on Kashmir by increasingly questioning Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. Ruling out a military conflict between India and China, the paper warns that rising Chinese assertiveness is backed by rising military capabilities.