IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 27th Oct 2020

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020-21.

EDITORIAL HUNT #210 :“The Standoff and Sino-India West Policy Dilemma | UPSC

The Standoff and Sino-India West Policy Dilemma | UPSC

Kabir Taneja
The Standoff and Sino-India West Policy Dilemma | UPSC

Kabir Taneja is Fellow, Strategies Studies Programme and Head, West Asia Initiative, Observer Research Foundation.


Contesting neighbours, revised geopolitical playbooks


The engagement by India and China in the West Asia region is a good example of their metamorphosing approaches



The theory of interests superseding ideology in West foreign policy is fast unravelling practically, both from the perspectives of India and China. Substantiate -(GS 2)


  • The new low.
  • Alignments and rules
  • Beijing at advantage
  • A Sharp contrast


The year 2020 has been a watershed moment for relations between India and China

  • BRUTAL CLASHES : In June 2020; following the most serious clashes between the two countries in the Galwan region of Ladakh since the 1962 war.
  • THE NEW LOW : Relations between New Delhi and Beijing are at new lows.
  • IMPACT ANALYSIS : These events have had a cascading effect on the very thought process of foreign policy, not just for New Delhi but also Beijing’s threat perceptions as well.



IDEOLOGY : The ideation of ‘strategic autonomy’ is much different from the Nehruvian era thinking of ‘non-alignment’.-Vijay Gokhale (Foreign Secretary of India)

 “The alignment is issue based, and not ideological.”

Strategic autonomy is today a term New Delhi’s power corridors are well-acquainted with.

  • THREE POLES OF POWER : The ethos of equitable engagement in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel, without stepping into the entanglements of the region’s multi-layered conflicts and political fissures.
  • GEOPOLITICAL SHIFTS : The year 2020 and the tectonic geopolitical shifts it has brought in its wake, from deteriorating U.S.-China ties.
  • GEO-STRATEGY : The COVID-19 pandemic that started in China, followed by the Ladakh crisis, is forcing a drastic change in the geopolitical playbooks of the two Asian giants.
  • GLOBAL OIL HEGEMONY : India doubled down on its relations with the likes of Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, giving open economic and political preference to the larger Gulf region.
  • LOOK WEST POLICY : While engagements with Israel moved steadily forward, Iran lagged behind, bogged down by U.S. sanctions, which in turn significantly slowed the pace of India-Iran engagements.


  • MULTI-DIMENSIONAL ENGAGEMENTS : Meanwhile, China’s overtures have been steadily more adventurous as it realises two major shifts that have taken place in West Asia.
  • HIGH LEVEL ENGAGEMENT : First, Beijing has tried to capitalise around the thinking in the Gulf that the American security safety net is not absolute, and they need to invest more in others.

China, being second only to the U.S. in both economic and military terms today, is the obvious engagement.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) obtained Chinese Wing Loong drones in 2016 — a copy of U.S.’s infamous armed MQ-9 ‘Reaper’ drone that Washington refused to sell .

  • PETRO ECONOMIES : The Gulf economies such as Saudi Arabia, even though attempting a hard shift away from their addiction to the petro dollar.
  • IMPROVISED MARKETS : Gulf economies will still need growing markets to sell oil to in the coming decade as they reform their economic systems.
  • MOST FAVOURED OIL MARKETS : The obvious two markets here are China and India.

      IASbhai Windup: 


  • NEGATIVE PEACE : China is no longer happy with a passive role in West Asia, and through concepts such as “negative peace” and “peace through development”.
  • TOOLS OF INFLUENCE : In concert with tools such as the Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing is now ready to offer an alternative model for “investment and influence”.

Iran suggested the development of a “new forum” to address the region’s tensions — an alternative to the West-led ecosystems that have prevailed for decades.

  • INDIA’S PERSPECTIVE  It maintains its trapeze-wire balancing act of diplomacy in West Asia, the overt outreach to the Gulf.
  • GULF INVESTMENTS : The ensuing announcements of multi-billion-dollar investments on Indian shores by entities from Saudi Arabia and the UAE is only New Delhi recognising the economic realities of the region.
  • STABILITY IN GULF REGION : Despite entanglements in the Yemen war ,the likes of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and so on have maintained relatively strong and stable economic progression.
  • RECENT PEACE ACCORDS : Israel’s recent peace accords with the UAE and Bahrain add much further weight towards a more stable Gulf region.

West Asia has started to showcase bolder examples of New Delhi and Beijing’s metamorphosing approaches towards the international arena.

       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | The Standoff and Sino-India West Policy Dilemma | UPSC


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