IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 26th June 2020
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” –Anonymous
EDITORIAL HUNT 92 :“Why China is being aggressive along the LAC“
Why China is being aggressive along the LAC
Its moves are inﬂuenced by a host of factors — from the fractures in the global order to the decline of India’s smart power
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR
Under President Xi Jinping, the Chinese think they have arrived.Chinese Aggression at Border is part of its revisionist policy. Comment -(GS 2)
- Rise of Neighbourhood
- Reasons for clashes
- Salami Slice !
WHY CHINA IS BEING AGGRESSIVE
- OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD : India’s traditional clout in its neighbourhood was slipping: tensions with Pakistan have been high keeping the troops occupied in the border areas; Nepal raised boundary issues with India; Sri Lanka is diversifying its foreign policy and China is making deep inroads into that region; and Bangladesh was deeply miffed with the CAA.
- REVIVING CLAIMS : China has revived its claim on the entire Galwan Valley and has asked India to pull back from the areas.
- DISPUTED FINGERS : Satellite images in the public domain suggest that China has set up defence positions in the valley as well as the disputed “Fingers” of Pangong Tso.
- FACE-OFF AT HOT SPRINGS : Despite multiple rounds of military-level talks, tensions are unlikely to ease given the complexity of the ground situation.
REASONS THAT LED TO CURRENT SITUATION
- DOKLAM INERTIA : India and China agreed to amicably resolve the Doklam stand-off that lasted for more than two months.
- GEOPOLITICAL SENSITIVITIES : Barring occasional joint statements issued with leaders from the U.S. and Asia-Pacific countries, reasserting India’s commitment to “freedom of navigation”.
- CRITICISM : India has stayed away from criticising China on controversial topics, whether its “de-radicalisation” camps in Xinjiang, crackdown on protests in Hong Kong, or disputes with Taiwan.
SALAMI SLICE STRATEGY
- CHINESE LOCAL DRIVE : India’s infrastructure upgrade and its decision to change the status of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, was reckless.
- INDIA ALIGNMENT TOWARDS USA : Experts have claimed that the tensions on the border are driving India deeper into a strategic embrace with the U.S.
- NEW ORDER : This is seen in China’s rising tensions with the U.S., its threats against Taiwan, repeated naval incidents in the South China Sea, and a new security law for Hong Kong.
- REORIENTATION : Today’s China is an ambitious rising power which wants to reorient the global order.
- IDEOLOGICAL WAR : China is not an ideological state that intends to export communism to other countries.
- India is one slice in this salami slice strategy.
PERCEPTION OF DECLINE
- SWING STATE : China doesn’t see India as a ‘swing state’ any more. It sees India as an ally-in-progress of the U.S.
- COUNTERWEIGHTS : If India is what many in the West call the “counterweight” to China’s rise, Beijing’s definite message is that it is not deterred by the counterweight.
- MESSAGE TO WORLD : This is a message not just to India, but to a host of China’s rivals that are teaming up and eager to recruit India to the club.
- GEOPOLITICAL MANOEUVRING : When most of the world’s big powers are grappling with the pandemic, revisionist powers such as China have more room for geopolitical manoeuvring.
- LACK OF STRATEGIC THINKING : This is a strategic trap. India has reached here partly because of the lack of depth in its strategic thinking.
WHAT INDIA NEEDS ?
- NEIGHBOURHOOD REALISM : What India needs is a national security strategy that’s decoupled from the compulsions of domestic politics and anchored in neighbourhood realism.
- LONG TERM FOCUS : It should stand up to China’s bullying on the border now, with a long-term focus on enhancing capacities and winning back its friendly neighbours.
- There are no quick fixes this time.
SOURCES: THE HINDU EDITORIAL | Why China Is Being Aggressive