IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 22nd Sep 2020
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.– Vivian Greene
EDITORIAL HUNT #149 :“Sino-India Strategic Thoughts | UPSC“
Sino-India Strategic Thoughts | UPSC
M.K. Narayanan is a former National Security Adviser and a former Governor of West Bengal
Interpreting the India-China conversations
There is a divergence in views on both sides; India needs a plan to check Beijing’s strategic objectives and ambitions
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR
How to deal with paradoxes and on the prosecution of seemingly contradictory approaches to ensure success in the ongoing Sino-India conversation . Critically examine -(GS 2)
- Maintaining Status Quo
- RIC meeting analysis
- Kautilya vs Sun Tzu
- MAINTAINING STATUS QUO : India effectively thwarted an attempt by China to alter the status quo and take control of areas on the South Bank of the Pangong Tso.
- CHINA’S REACTION : Chinese accused the Indian Army of having “undermined the consensus reached” at the diplomatic and military talks.
- TROOPS MOBILISATION : Several thousand troops of the People’s Liberation Army, in the meantime, remain mobilised across the entire region.
- STATE OF AFFAIRS : China was attempting to unilaterally alter the status quo, and that while India wanted to peacefully resolve the ongoing military confrontation.
- DISENGAGEMENT : China observed that the most important task for India is to disengage on the ground as soon as possible, and take concrete action to ease the situation.
- RIC MEETING : On the sidelines of the Russia, India, China Trilateral meeting (RIC) in Moscow the parties had met to try and sort out matters.
- Defence minister did not mince matters, putting the blame entirely on the PLA.
- The blunt exchanges between the Defence Ministers did little to assuage ongoing concerns.
- India and China “needed to find an accommodation”.
- EXPECTATIONS : What emerged from the talks, however, fell well short of expectations.
- FIVE POINT CONSENSUS : The ‘Five Point Consensus’ limited itself to urging the two sides to take guidance from “the consensus of their leaders on developing India-China relations”.
- BOUNDARY AFFAIRS : The remaining points were confined to existing agreements and protocols on China-India boundary affairs and maintain peace and tranquillity.
- Both countries should avoid any action that could escalate matters.
- Reiterated the importance of the Special Representative Mechanism to maintain communications.
- Work to conclude new Confidence-Building Measures to maintain and enhance border peace and tranquillity.
- NAMING THE STAND OFF : Neither the Joint Statement specifically or obliquely mentioned a return to “the status quo” or to positions prior to the stand-off.
- DIVERGENCE OF THOUGHTS : Confirmation of the wide divergence in views existing between the two sides were to be found in the contents of the separate notes circulated.
- PARALLELS : China, for instance, claimed that the Indian side “does not consider relations to be dependent on the settlement of the boundary question”.
- CO OPERATION NEEDED : It, thereafter, goes on to pontificate that what China and India need now is cooperation not confrontation, mutual trust and not suspicion.
- The two Foreign Ministers seem — separately and in their own way .
- They reflect Kautilya and Sun Tzu ironically.
- For Sun Tzu, strategic positioning is critical to obtain a strategic advantage.
- All warfare, according to Sun Tzu is based on deception, and deceiving the opponent.
- Sun Tzu seeks to subdue the enemy without fighting and resorting to attacking the enemy’s strategy as the best option.
- TACTICS EMPLOYED : China’s leaders have imbibed and adhered to Sun Tzu’s maxims, and Wang Yi seemed to have employed this tactic.
- RESTRAINT AND MODERATION : A balanced attitude to the use of force, are recurring themes in the whole conversation, there are clear divergences when it comes to methodologies to be employed.
DEALING WITH CHINA
- COMPLEX : Understanding Chinese motives are difficult at any time.
- CHINESE INTENT : Chinese intent -“Community with a shared future for Mankind” has changed to achieve great power status, still waiting for acknowledgement of its status by other countries.
- CONFRONTATIONAL POLITICS : Increasing resort to confrontational politics, in substance as well as in style, aggravates this situation further.
- PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT : Combined with constant references to superior capabilities and exaggerated respect for their own strengths is Chinese perpetual mental setup.
- PATIENT DIPLOMACY : Defusing tensions demands patient diplomacy, but it is not a character trait Chinese ever demonstrated.
NEW DELHI MUST REACH OUT
- CRAFTING STRATEGY : India needs a carefully drawn-up plan as also an effective strategy to deny Beijing its immediate objectives.
- CALCULATED RISK : New Delhi should take calculated risk in resistance against Chinese determination to establish regional dominance.
- REACH OUT : India must reach out to its neighbours to tap alluring prospects of both economic cooperation and military support for the maintenance of peace.
- MILITARY READINESS : India must be prepared militarily and otherwise to keep a check on China’s burgeoning ambitions.
SOURCES: THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | Sino-India Strategic Thoughts | UPSC