China seeking to change status quo in Ladakh, elsewhere: Former Australian PM Kevin Rudd

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In an interview with India Today, former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd warned of Chinese policies that are seeking to change the status quo. Kevin Rudd said there is no dissimilarity between China’s behaviour in Ladakh and elsewhere.

Kevin Rudd said, “It is part of Chinese policy of seeking to change the status quo. The same logic applies to the Sino-India border. China is looking to change reality on the ground. The status quo in Ladakh has not been restored. China is enhancing infrastructure, airfields, roads etc in the region.”

“Do not see dissimilarity between China’s behaviour in Ladakh and elsewhere. Chinese strategic behaviour observes what the other side does on the ground,” the former Australian PM warned.

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Kevin Rudd added, “China respects strength and is contemptuous of weakness… How these two principles apply on the ground is for the Indian authorities to wrestle with.”

Talking about China’s increased activity around the India-China border, Kevin Rudd said, “Evidence suggests China seeks to incrementally change the situation on the ground (Indian context).”

The former Australian prime minister further added that India needs to consider what will be its response if China offers to resolve border disputes.

“India should consider what happens if Xi Jinping surprises us by saying let’s resolve the (border) disputes? What will India do if such a grand offer was made?” Kevind Rudd asked.

Pointing out India’s growth, Kevin Rudd also asked about the scenario when India’s economy develops and becomes stronger for China to take note.

Talking about the relationship between China and Pakistan, Kevin Rudd said, “No possibility of China weakening its relations with Islamabad. It is an all-weather relationship.”

In the backdrop of increase military exercise around Taiwan following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, Kevin Rudd claimed that the possibility of China-Taiwan war has now gone up.

“We need to understand Xi Jinping’s worldview. It’s his China. He is likely to be China’s leader till 2037,” Kevin Rudd said.

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