By Haider Abbas
Rarely the China president Xi Jinping calls for explicit terms, as China being one of the oldest civilisations of the world, finds comfortable with symbolic terms alone! It was one year before COVID-19 pandemic broke, on which China and US have sparred each other, when on Jan 21, 2019, Reuters did report Xi Jinping alerting China to guard against ‘black-swan’ risks while fending off ‘grey-rhino’. Corona Virus was unknown then, as after all it was one year prior to its outbreak, but the substantial meaning that symbol held was that there was something ‘unknown and unseen’ on the prowl . That was for ‘black-swan’ and for the ‘grey-rhino’, it meant an extremely obvious yet an ignored threat, that is what was supposed to be the worst economic scenario and a looming war threat. This threat is what exactly November 3, 2020 holds as US goes to polls on it, and thus is what the whole world with bated breath is waiting for, towards which US president Donald Trump has already declared that he would not commit to peaceful transfer of power, in case he gets defeated, informed CBSNews on September 24, 2020 1.
How the world has met with the havoc of ‘black-swan’ (COVID-19), since the beginning of this year, which resulted into the ruinous death of more than a million, along with millions rendered penniless and homeless and economically drained, and how the world will continue to face it, will have a bearing on all of us, but the ‘grey-rhino’ i.e. war and the great economy-war is yet to unfold, which also has the full potential to make to the worst World-War III. India alongside US, ironically is also to play a major role in it, as what the developments prove, that it was Donald Trump, who in a matter of ten days, on July 22, 2019, tells WSJ 3 and August 2, 2019 informs IndiaToday 4 , twice offered to mediate on Kashmir, which led to India’s PM Modi to annul Article 370 in JK& L , on August 5, 2019, to irk both China and Pakistan, which resulted in China staking the issue of Kashmir for thrice in UN security council, in one year, enlightens TheWire on August 5, 2020 5. Six-months to abrogation Indian military chief NM Naravane on January 3, 2020 through IndiaToday 6 informed that Indian military was ready to strike in the Pakistan side of Kashmir and on May 9, 2020, New Delhi started to put on air Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad weather report, informs TOI 7, which China found to be the ultimate spanner thrown by India to block its China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and which both India and US want anyhow to die. Since, May 2020 Himalayas are on the boil, and a negative-body-posturing between China and India and of course with Pakistan as well, has made to body-politic, which finally has led to US announcing to enter into Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) with India on October 26-27, 2020. Now India and in complete alignment with all the US battle agenda which it tends to spread in South China Sea against China with the help of Japan, Australia( through QUAD), Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia etc, once after the elections are to end. US has already made three of its aircraft carries placed inside South China Sea since June 2020, reported JapanTimes 8 .
It is in this immediate backdrop of US manoeuvrings, where US has committed to sell truck-based rocket launchers, long-range air-to-ground missiles, and external sensor pods for F-16 jets, to Taiwan, according to Al Jazeera on October 13. 2020 9 is where US has finally touched the raw-nerve of China, as China is extremely sensitive towards Taiwan and has always cautioned US not to interfere in its internal affairs, and which finally, prompted Xi Jinping to call his people to be ‘absolutely loyal, absolutely pure and absolutely reliable’ reports Edition.CNN.Com on October 14, 2020 10 as a mark of the final bugle that the US war on China stands on head and which China looks forward to meet.
China is now also in a full wartime mode, and its foreign minister Wang Yi, who gave a hard-nose to Indian external affairs minister S Jaishanker at Moscow during SCO meeting, visited Tehran on October 10, 2020 11 , to groom for the anti-US forces and he did meet his Malaysian counterpart too on October 13, 2020 12 , tells China’s official foreign affairs website, where he exhorted Asian nations to remain vigilant to US strategies. It is in this built-up that the world is waiting for the US elections to complete. A small skirmish between Armenia-Azerbaijan however ended after Russia intervened but now the voices of war are getting more and more louder, as Xi Jinping wants China to be ready for war, Pakistan PM Imran Khan and its military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, its air chief Anwar Mujahid all have called to remain alert to war, Indian PM Modi, defence minister Rajnath Singh and air chief RKS Bahaduri have called for preparation for a two-front war, Taiwan PM Tsai Ing Wen is gearing up to meet for a war, all this is leading to what had been prophesied by Xi Jinping, as by the next fortnight ice would start to fall in Ladakh and Siachen in the Himalayas, and then it is what, may trigger the real ‘gray-rhino’!
It may be ironic to say that despite Xi Jinping having had the clue of ‘black-swan’ yet China could not contain the disease, but in context to ‘grey-rhino’ there is US which wants to perpetuate a war for the claim of being the only superpower of the world. Let’s see what the ‘grey-rhino’ holds for the world after November elections are to end.
The writer is a former State Information Commissioner, India. He is a media analyst and writes on international politics.