New Delhi, December, 6 : Wikileaks has confirmed what everyone knew: that China's aggressiveness is losing it friends and influence faster than it can count.US ambassador to Beijing Jon Huntsman reported back to Washington in cables made public by Wikileaks that countries like Japan and India had expressed concern about China's behaviour.
In his February 2010 report, which he titled `Stomp around and carry a small stick: China's new global assertiveness raises hackles, but has more form than substance', Huntsman said, "Numerous third-country diplomats have complained to us that dealing with China has become more difficult in the past year."
In his cables, the US ambassador quoted several of his counterparts, particularly from Japan and India. S Jaishankar, the Indian ambassador to Beijing, was quoted requesting closer cooperation with the US because of "China's more aggressive approach".
It was in November 2009 that US President Barack Obama signed a joint statement with China that sent every Indian diplomat protesting against what Delhi saw as a ganging up against it. Singh protested in person to Obama a few weeks later in Washington. The joint statement said, the two countries would "work together to promote peace, stability and development in that ( South Asia) region".
While India and China managed to strike a Copenhagen spirit in December 2009, by early 2010, it had become clear to India that China would be taking a more tough position vis-a-vis New Delhi. It soon became clear that an intensified China-Pakistan relationship was intended to heat up things in India's neighbourhood, as was China's activities in Nepal.
Things came to a head with China inserting itself into the Kashmir issue, issuing stapled visas for Kashmiris. After a refusal of visa to the northern area commander, India has cut off defence ties with China, which are yet to be restored.
But the difficulties have been with the attitude of the Chinese. If in the past Indian diplomats tried to brush it under the carpet, in recent months, Indians have taken to a lot of plain-speaking with their Chinese counterparts, as well as with other countries.
According to the Guardian, which reported the cables, European diplomats, as well as the Japanese, have repeatedly complained as well as African officials, which is significant because of China's immense presence in Africa. The US ambassador in his cable accused Beijing of "muscle-flexing, triumphalism and assertiveness".