Rising border tensions between India and China are linked with the threat of the coronavirus pandemic on China’s home front, according to ASPI Director Michael Shoebridge.
India claimed on Tuesday that 20 soldiers were killed by Chinese forces in border clashes which happened after several weeks of stand offs in the western Himalayas.
Mr Shoebridge told Sky News the Chinese government feared their authority would be discredited by their handling of the pandemic as Beijing faced a potential second wave of the virus.
“They also are aware that the pandemic has deeply damaged their credibility internationally,” he said.
“When the Chinese communist party feels weakened and threatened it traditionally strikes out, it gets confrontational.
“I think it’s trying to display strength and I think some commentators have played into that by saying Beijing is taking advantage of the pandemic as an opportunity.
“Well I think Beijing sees it more as a real weakness and a source of anxiety and this aggression is to cover that.”