Over recent months, most of Beijing’s neighbours – including India and Taiwan – have come together with Australia and the US in a bid to contain and counter against China’s dominance. Now, former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has said President Xi is not listening to warnings.
Sir Malcolm said the Communist leader is a “poor strategist” who is causing “deep harm” to China’s interests.
He said: “Xi is strong enough to ensure that he can achieve short-term gains by throwing China’s weight around.
“But he is a poor strategist who is causing deep harm to China’s long-term interests.”
Sir Malcolm added: “Many in China, including in the Communist Party, and perhaps some in the Politburo, must be asking what is so clever about uniting all of China’s Asian neighbours – from Tokyo, through south-east Asia to Delhi – with the United States and Australia, to work and plan together to contain the People’s Republic?”
He went on to say how Deng Xiaoping, who ruled China 40 years ago, warned his successors not to “throw their weight around and bully their neighbours”.
But Sir Malcolm said Xi is “ignoring that advice” as Beijing continues to assert its dominance in the South China Sea and the ongoing border disputes with India.
He wrote in the Telegraph: “Xi is ignoring that advice. In doing so he threatens and undermines the future of his own country.
“He may also be undermining himself.
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This marked the first bloody altercation in 45 years as around 35 Chinese troops died and 20 Indian soldiers.
During the altercation, both sides agreed to disarm in order to deal with the border clash but tensions rose and a physical altercation erupted.
All the casualties were from the use of batons, knives and falls from the steep land.
President Xi also set alarm bells ringing last month after he sent Chinese ships armed with “cannons” into Japan’s waters, just hours after a new poll revealed growing fear in the UK over the threat posed by Beijing.
Beijing sent two vessels into the East China Sea near the Senkaku islands in a bid to assert its dominance and its territorial claims.
The disputed islands have been claimed by both China and Japan over the years.
Beijing has also increased its military presence in the South China Sea.
Back in January, a total of 15 Chinese aircraft including 12 fighter jets entered the southern part of Taiwan and the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Island in the South China Sea.
Following Beijing’s activity, the US State Department urged China to stop pressuring Taiwan.
Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department, said: “We urged Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives.
“We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defence capability.”